About KCM

Knighton Countryside Management Ltd

Knighton Countryside Management is a national Ecological,  Arboricultural  and Land-based Contracting Company – and much more. Our 50 directly employed staff hold a range of qualifications that allow us to be truly multi disciplinary. If your project needs skilled arborists with PTS qualifications and extensive experience of ecological work, we’ve got it covered.

We are able to carry out work often fulfilled by a variety of different countryside contractors: such as fencing, landscaping, woodland management and tree surgery. Two things make us different: our specialism and interest in the Environment and Ecological issues, and our ability to provide a ‘one stop shop’ despite the range of skills needed. Over the years this has lead us to work extensively in the area of wildlife mitigation, and we have always been at the forefront of this aspect of the industry. Knighton vans are a regular feature in our home county of Dorset, where we look after everything from a single tree in a garden to major highways projects, and where we have been clearing windblown trees for the council for many years. KCM also works further afield, and our mitigation services have been commissioned throughout the UK. On any given day, our trackers show teams working in places such as Liverpool, East Anglia, Wales and Kent – and all points in between. In the last few years we have protected Water Voles on the Isle of Grain, Badgers at Hinkley Point, and Reptiles on the Midlands Railways, to name but a very few.

For the most part, we do not engage in professional ecological work as we believe that this can cause conflict of interest for all parties. By sticking to our core business of contracting, we have been able to develop our skills and knowledge base to offer the highest standards of work to our ecologist clients.

Our Compliance

We operate to the highest standards in the construction industry, holding accreditations from CHAS, SMAS, Constructionline, Linkup, UVDB, PICs and BASIS and we are Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors. We have a rigorous understanding of health & safety for high risk works. We understand, and work to, the guidelines laid down by Natural England. Current projects include Mitigation and Habitat Enhancement works at Hinkley Point C, and GCN Protection Fencing for the GWR Electrification works and we supply our own Sentinel trained staff for railway work. Our management team and office staff work in conjunction with our site foremen to ensure that our projects are completed using the safest and most efficient methodologies and have fully compliant documentation.

Our Versatility

Knighton is unique for the sheer range of skills and qualifications held by our staff. We can make any project work – a site clearance at an Army Barracks recently generated the removal of hundreds of tonnes of woodchip and demonstrated our ability to work effectively on brownfield sites as well as in more rural locations. As well as site clearance we are experts in the planning and creation of greenspace and woodland. Our riparian team are experienced in improving the health of aquatic areas in order to extend and create new habitats for protected species such as otters and water voles. The construction and installation of recreational bridges and tracks sympathetic to the surrounding environment is well within our capabilities and experience. We recently created a SANGS at Wareham for Bloor Homes: as principal contractor we were able to resource the entire project from within our workforce. We have installed literally thousands of miles of mitigation fencing. We undertake vegetation control contracts, both chemically and mechanically. The Arboriculture Team work for clients such as Dorset Country Council, Magna Housing and the National Trust, and our ecological expertise means we are the go to contractor on multi-skilled sites. Recent projects include a £200,000 roadside clearance job, at night, in an SSSI.

Our Resources

We have long experience in this specialist area, and were part of the team behind the development of Herpetosure™. Because of this, we have a wealth of knowledge and own a unique selection of specialist plant, carefully accrued to meet the needs of ecological, arboricultural and land-based contracting. This includes a fleet of Skid Steers, lightweight but powerful machines with a width of less than metre & a range of attachments from buckets to trenchers, and we have several different versions, with our Green Climber giving us the capacity to operate remotely on slopes of up to 60 degrees. Many of our vehicles have been specially built to our design. We have ensured that we can access all terrains by having plant and chippers that are tracked as well as wheeled, and our 27m and 10m cherry pickers are 4WD mounted, as is our fleet support vehicle.

Landrover and 4WD cherrypicker in Dorset Yard

Our Team

Mark in the yard with the Valtra

Mark Gibbens

Managing Director

Mark started the company in 1986 when he was 18. In those days, it was just Mark, a chainsaw, and a massive amount of determination. 30 years later, Knighton Countryside Management Ltd employs over 50 people. Mark oversees everything with his trademark enthusiasm, and somehow manages to be in at least three places at once. On any given day he will be either in the office quoting jobs, or out on site making sure projects are running smoothly; he will find time to help the apprentices and he will, given half a chance, go out with his chainsaw to clear a fallen tree. Mark is Chair of Governors at the Dorset Studio School, which specialises in land-based education for the 13-19 age group. He is a finalist in this year’s ‘Blackmore Vale Businessperson of the Year’ award.

Contact Details
07976 646993

Paul Young

General Manager

After 10 years at the coalface, working on Mitigation sites all around the UK, Paul returned to base in Dorset to manage the complexity of Knighton’s operations. With over 50 staff, a fleet of 30 vehicles, and a huge variety of specialist plant, the sheer logistics of the task are immense. Paul’s greatest strengths are his dedication, and his intimate understanding of what is needed to get a team on site and ready to work at short notice anywhere in the country.

Contact Details
07795 083320

Jason Giladjian

Arboricultural Manager

After spending three years at Art College, Jason ran a very successful tree surgery company which amalgamated with Knighton Countryside Management Ltd in 2009. He now heads Knighton’s team of Arboriculturalists, leading schemes such as tree works for the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road reconstruction project. Jason has also overseen the development on the new SANGS at Wareham, and he specialises in fulfilling unusual or specialist projects , such as installing lightning conductors in oak trees, or the repair works at Beaminster Tunnel.

Contact Details
07900 111920

A picture of Guy looking a bit stern

Guy Lowndes

Project Manager

Guy joined Knighton in 2006 after working as an ecologist in the UK and in Brazil. His family run a commercial nursery, and his background in horticulture and experience as an ecologist make him an invaluable member of the team. Guy was Operations Manager until 2013, and he therefore understands exactly what is required to carry out a project from start to finish.

Contact Details
07917 878006

Our Senior Foreman have all come up through the company, and have a thorough understanding of working on complex ecological sites. We directly employ our operatives, so hiring Knighton Countryside means you are hiring people we know and have trained, who we can mobilise to any part of the country at very short notice.

Will driving the boxer

Will Crawford

Senior Ecological Foreman

Will joined the company in 2008, leaving his first career as a restaurant manager to come to Knighton, where he quickly worked his way up to Senior Foreman.

LUke holding up the world like Atlas

Luke Feilden-Irving

Senior Ecological Foreman

Luke came to Knighton from Sparsholt College in 2007. Known by his colleagues as ‘SuperLuke’, he has limitless energy. Luke is passionate about ecology and conservation.

A happy, thoughtful look while spraying vegetation in Dorset

Andy House

BASIS Nominated Storekeeper

Andy has worked at Knighton since 2006 when he joined as a Forestry apprentice. Since then, he has taken on the management of our chemical store and is the company expert on pesticide and herbicide use. Our continuing status as a BASIS Amenity Assured company is in no small part thanks to Andy’s sterling work.

James in cheerful mode

James Amor

Assistant Manager (Arboriculture)

Looking after the day to day workings of the arboriculture teams, James came to Knighton in 2014. He has spent his whole career in arboriculture, both as a tree surgeon and as an instructor.

Myles in the office looking orange

Myles Lambert

Senior Ecological Foreman

Myles joined Knighton in 2009 and has worked his way up through the company. He is spends most of his time on ecological contracting projects although he is also qualified as a climber.

Tim Drinkwater


Tim joined the company in 2016 and brings a great deal of experience and expertise in the industry with him. Based in the new purpose built workshop, he looks after Knighton’s varied fleet as well as making sure the other fitters have everything they need

Brett in the yard at Piddlehinton

Brett Selby

Fitter / Machine Operator

Brett joined the company in 2012 as a temporary worker, and has been with us ever since. He offered to get involved with the fitting early on, and has been an essential part of the team ever since. He is also a machine operator and tractor driver and does much of our steep ground clearance work.