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Leigh Morris
Consultant , St Helena Government
Jamestown, Saint Helena
A 35+ year career spanning horticulture, crop production, botanic gardens, conservation, education, public engagement, capacity building and international development. Proven leader; inspiring, pragmatic, and thriving on delivery through participatory approaches.
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Area of Expertise:
  • Agriculture, Livelihoods, Microfinance, Rural
  • Capacity Building, Training, Advocacy, Political
  • Director, CEO, COP, President
Professional Experience:
Agriculture Consultant, St Helena Island Govt. (January 2018 to date): Carried out a strategic sectoral development analysis of the island’s agriculture. Now delivering a participatory programme of development outputs from this. Also delivering a range of environmental consultancies on both St Helena and Ascension islands for the Blue Marine Foundation.

Vice-President and Trustee, St Helena National Trust (Oct 2018 to date): Elected onto Council for the largest NGO on island

Chief Executive, National Land Based College (NLBC) (March 2016 to Jan 2018): The virtual national college for the horticulture and wider land based sector

President, Chartered Institute of Horticulture (2012-14): Elected to the 2-year role for the professional body of horticulture in the UK & Ireland

Director of Community Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (Aug 2014 to Mar 2016): Directed education and engagement at Edinburgh Zoo, Highland Wildlife Park and outreach projects

Trustee, UK Marine Conservation Society (MCS) (2013 to date): Member of the Fundraising & Marketing and Governance sub-groups

Chair, Grow Careers Initiative (2006-14): Invited to Chair and project manage Grow Careers, the UK-wide campaign for promoting horticulture as a career, when it was established in 2006.

Associate Director of Horticulture, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Sept. 2004 to Aug 2014): Directed education and public engagement offer, linked strongly to their four gardens. Delivered consultancy and capacity building for several international projects.

Head of Division: Horticulture & Commercial Operations, Welsh College of Horticulture (1998-2004): Directed horticulture and associated education programmes, and their extensive gardens and horticultural enterprises.

Horticulture Nursery Unit Manager, Pershore College of Horticulture (1990-98): Expanded support for education & research, and set-up new production and marketing systems that made the nursery profitable. Established a Specialist Plant Unit, to select and launch new plants.

Sandwich Year Student, Challis of York (Nurseries) Ltd. York (1988-89): Container plant production.

Nursery Apprentice, ‘Johnsons of Whixley Nurseries’ (1983-86):
- Master of Science (MSc) ‘International Horticulture’ (Distinction): Essex University & HAS Den Bosch University, Netherlands (2001-02). Focus on global horticulture, plant pathology, post-harvest technology and international trade. 4-months study in the Netherlands working alongside Dutch growers. Research dissertation on the use of UV-light blocking polythene for flying insect pest control on protected crops.

- Other horticulture Qualifications: BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) in Horticulture – Crop Production & Marketing (Distinction); BTEC National Diploma (ND) in Nursery Stock Production (Distinction); and City & Guilds (C&G) National Certificate in Horticulture (Distinction).

- City & Guilds Certificates in Adult Teaching/Training at Levels 1 & 2. Vocational Qualification Certificates; Assessor, Verifier and Accreditation of Prior Learning Adviser.
Affiliations and Achievements:
International Experience (in alphabetical country order):

Ascension Island: Delivered consultancy to support the Government in developing their hydroponic farm and their new Waste Management Strategy (July/Aug 2018).

Belize: Co-delivered MSc Botany 2-week tropical field course, based at the Las Cuevas Field Station (2006 & 2008).

China: Led the delivery of a horticultural training programme for the Chinese Union of Botanic Gardens at Kunming Botanic Garden (2013). Part of a Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) ‘Plant Biodiversity Mission’ to South China (April 2007).

Ethiopia: Delivered a short-term Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) placement for the Ethiopian Horticulture Producers & Exporters Association (2006). Carried out a training needs analysis and delivered consultancy & upskilling for 35 flower and vegetable farms around Addis Ababa.

Haiti: Represented the UK at a workshop in Port-au-Prince for the development of a National Botanical Garden (2011).

Hawaii, USA: Participated in an Education and Public Engagement Strategic Planning Workshop at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (2012).

India (West Bengal) and Nepal: Selected member of a team for a Rotary International ‘Group Study Exchange’ to view the work of Rotary and horticultural projects (1999).

Jordan: Delivered in-country consultancy for the Royal Botanic Garden Jordan (2014).

Kurdistan: Participated in a workshop in Sulaimani, Northern Iraq, for the creation of a National Botanic Garden (2013).

Lao PDR: Made two consultancy visits to support the development of Pha Tad Ke Botanic Garden, Luang Prabang (2010 and 2011).

Netherlands: One semester of my MSc (2001-02) was spent in the Netherlands.

Poland: Participated in a workshop to develop environmental education at Silesian Botanical Garden, Mikolow (2012).

St Helena Island: (Jan 2018 to date) delivering a range of consultancies.

South Africa: Based at Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in Cape Town to set-up the introduction of new plants from the South African National Biodiversity Institute into the UK for commercialisation. A published review of the horticulture nursery industry was also carried out (1994).

Sultanate of Oman: On 50% secondment from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2008-11) in the role of Director of Horticulture for the Oman Botanic Garden, Muscat.

Thailand: Led the delivery of a Certificate in Practical Horticulture and Train the Trainers courses at Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Chiang Mai (2011).

Turkey: Carried out two consultancy trips to Nezahat Gökyigit Botanik Bahçesi, Istanbul, (2007 & 2009).

Yemen (2006): Member of an RBGE team that visited Ta’izz and Socotra.

Available for:
  • Job opportunities

    Years of Experience:
    More than 20 years
    Highest Qualification:
    United Kingdom
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