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When everybody is planting apples a visionary plants oranges.

Matshona Dhliwayo

Meet Russell Hearsum, Biotecture’s new Maintenance Director 

Russell explains his plans for Biotecture's maintenance department

17th November 2021 | By Jessica Wigmore

Head of Marketing Kirstin Monk talks to Biotecture’s new Maintenance Director, Russell

KM: Congratulations on your new role as Maintenance Director, can you tell us what that will involve?  

RH: Biotecture have been installing living walls since 2007 so the number of walls we maintain keeps on growing. We currently look after over 145 walls ranging in size from 10m2 to 2,000 m2. As Maintenance Director I will be stepping away from the day to day to focus on enhancing our processes and creating strong departmental growth in the future.  

KM: What is your vision for Biotecture’s maintenance department moving forward?  

RH: That’s simple, that we become the number one provider for living wall maintenance services throughout the UK. 

KM: Tell us how you got into horticulture?  

RH: I have always had a passion for horticulture ever since I was young. I studied horticulture at Hadlow College, Kent, and went on to working in the landscape industry, for local authorities, and for the private sector. I am passionate about biodiversity and bringing greenery back into our cities, so, I decided to focus my career on managing the maintenance of living walls and roofs.  

KM: How long have you worked at Biotecture and how has your role changed over time? 

RH: I have worked at Biotecture for 4 years. When I joined the company the maintenance department looked after around 70 living walls, currently we maintain over 145 living walls throughout the UK and are always on the lookout for expanding our portfolio.  

When I started at Biotecture, I managed a team of 5, now we have 14 maintenance team members and are always on the lookout for skilled horticulturalists to join us

Over the years our client base has expanded, and we liaise with a broader range of clients and sub-contractors. As Director of Maintenance, I will be continuing to build strong relationships with our existing clients and actively seeking new maintenance contracts.  

Our team have extensive experience of a range of living systems, and I will continue to ensure this gets fed back into our design process. I advise our sales and design teams on future projects, for example, the required irrigation, access, and machinery. 

KM: How will the structure of the maintenance team change now you have been promoted to Director? 

At Biotecture we encourage our staff to apply for new opportunities internally. All of our current maintenance supervisors have been internally promoted from operatives over the last few years due to the growth of the department, I find that this builds a positive and informed culture within the department. A senior supervisor has been promoted to Maintenance Contracts Manager. 

KM: What do you like about working at Biotecture?  

RH: I really enjoy working for Biotecture, the company is very supportive, and it is very encouraging how it has gone from strength to strength over the years. The company not only focuses on improving biodiversity in the urban environment, but also holds improving people’s mental wellbeing at the heart of our core values. This is shown by projects like the Nightingale hospital staff wellbeing garden. This makes me proud to be part of the Biotecture team.