About Us 

Hill-Fort Nursery Garden & Tree Care, Founded in 1997 with Horticulturalist: Fleur Ketley, later became Hill-Fort Tree Care & Consultancy in 2009.

We are a trusted family-owned tree surgery and consultancy business. Our skilled team of arborists & arboricultural consultants combine expertise with practical know-how, traditional wisdom with modern techniques, to provide exceptional tree care services. 

Hill-Fort have been Arboricultural Association Approved contractors since 2012. An Arb Approved Contractor is a prestigious accreditation in our industry. We are regularly assessed for our health & safety procedures, office and business practices, including customer care, as well as our quality of tree work. We are  proud to display the ARB Approved Contractor logo on our vehicles.

From pruning to whole tree removals, tree health and safety,  trees in relation to construction, Preservation Orders and subsidence investigation reports, we take care of your needs and your tree's health, safety, environmental and aesthetic benefits. 

Our Team


Founder & Director

Mark Ashman PD ArbMarborA Founded Hill-Fort Tree Care & Consultancy in 1997.

He currently holds the Professional Diploma in Arboriculture (Royal Forestry Society), the Technicians Certificate in Arboriculture (Arboricultural Association) achieved at Distinction level, the LANTRA Awards Certificate in Professional Tree Inspection and has been assessed by Dr Prof Claus Mattheck as having achieved the advanced level of technical competence of a VTA (visual tree assessment) practitioner with elite training.

He began his career as a climbing arborist and has since been working in all aspects of the arboricultural industry. His vast experience and knowledge makes him a well placed to lead the team and serve Hill-fort's clients to their best advantage.



Chris has worked in Arboriculture since 1995 and has been with Hill-Fort since the creation of the company. Trained and certificated in all disciplines of tree care and over 25 years experience in the industry has given him the platform to be the on-site foreman for the firm. Chris also runs his own family firm,  Chris Smith Stump Grinding. 


Lead Climber

Thomas 'Twig' Randle has been in Arboriculture since 2008. He is trained and certificated in all disciplines of tree care. Twig started working for Hill-Fort in 2013 and has been an integral part of the team ever since. As Lead Climber, Twig climbs the most awkward trees, where inaccessible to our platform with ease while maintaining the safe climbing techniques required of a qualified climbing arborist.


Consulting Arborist

Harry Ashman L4 dip Arb (ABC) is an accomplished consulting arborist. with expertise in climbing, groundskeeping, and consulting, his whole working life has been dedicated to Arboriculture. With a Level 4 diploma in arboriculture, Harry is knowledgeable in both tree science & planning, the latter of which he specialises in.

He serves as a Tree Officer at Rutland County Council (part-time) while also committed to the family business of Hill-Fort Tree Care.


Apprentice Arborist

William's first exposure to tree surgery came through his father, who used to work for Hill-Fort. He Joined the firm for work experience at 16 years old and his enjoyment of working with trees and the Hill-fort team led him to join the company full time as an apprentice in 2021. William is quickly earning his certificates and qualifications, he has a bright future in Arboriculture.



Clem first started working for Hill-Fort on a part-time basis between 2014 to 2018, working on Vehicle maintenance and grounds work. He returned to the firm in 2023 in a full time capacity. His love of trees, the outdoors and the strong ties between the team were factors in Clem's return to the firm.

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