top of page

Our Story

Learn more about when and why Hazelwood Landscapes was formed and about our Founder's relentless passion to create habitats for wildlife at every opportunity and inspire others to do the same.

Our Founder & Director, Joel Ashton

Having been surrounded by a family interested in both gardening and wildlife, and having studied landscape design and architecture, there was really no other occupation that would cater for Joel’s interests.

When completing his education, Joel worked for a local landscaping company in 2004 to further his practical experience in construction.  Becoming quickly disillusioned with traditional landscaping practices, it didn’t take long for Joel to understand that not only were vital habitats continually being lost to the need for housing, but most hard and soft landscaping had little to no benefit for wildlife.  These practices were exacerbating the loss of sanctuaries for nature. 


In 2005, Joel started his own landscaping company and Hazelwood Landscapes was formed.  Joel strived to ensure that clients were aware of every opportunity to include wildlife when designing and creating gardens for them.

Wildlife Garden Designer Joel Ashton
Francis Tophill with Joel - BBC Gardeners' World

In 2006 Joel trained and qualified as an Arborist and consults on and carries out best practices for tree care and management.  Hazelwood Landscapes is not a contractor for the felling of trees without absolute necessity and good cause.

After 2006, word began to spread about Hazelwood Landscapes’ work and, aside from being invited to showcase gardens at major events and with an increasing presence on social media, Joel’s work featured on BBC Gardeners’ World, in The Telegraph and other publications, on Springwatch, Wild Animal Rescue and even Childrens’ TV to encourage the next generation.  In 2019 and after Joel’s appearance on BBC Gardeners’ World, he was contacted by Dorling Kindersley and asked to share his experience with a wider audience to further encourage people to consider helping wildlife in their own gardens.

In 2020, the Wild Your Garden – "Create a Sanctuary for Nature” book was launched and has already sold almost 20,000 copies.  You can buy a signed copy from

How To Create a Wildlife Garden


To accompany the launch of the book, Joel created the “Wild Your Garden with Joel Ashton” YouTube channel, which already has been viewed over 8 million times.  Joel continues to freely impart some of his specialist knowledge to a worldwide audience, and with his instructional videos has helped in the creation of hundreds of “Joel Ashton ponds” and helped transform gardens into sanctuaries for nature across the globe.  Joel has been delighted to see the recent surge in interest and concern from gardeners and landscapers alike.  We have received many emails from enlightened and grateful gardeners, and from landscapers and designers thanking Joel for inspiring them to change the way they work, and enabling them to learn the basics of creating habitats for wildlife. Due to the success of the book and YouTube channel, Joel was contacted by many people asking where he obtained his native plants and other materials to create his projects.  Joel then worked hard in partnership with the very same specialist growers and like-minded suppliers that he has used for almost 20 years, to ensure that the public could access these too. 

Prince Charles Wildflower Meadows

 In 2020 the Wild Your Garden online shop was established for those people able to create habitats, and for those wishing to undertake their own projects.   For customers buying from the Wild Your Garden online shop, Joel continues to provide expert and professional tailored advice. 

With his renowned and proven experience, Joel is highly regarded as an expert in the creation of wildlife gardens, nature reserves and commercial projects.  For the YouTube channel Joel has interviewed many relevant people, speaking in depth with experts such as Alan Titchmarsh, Stephen Moss, Iolo Williams, Brett Westwood and Sir David Attenborough.  In January 2020 Joel was invited to Highgrove and spoke in depth with the then HRH Prince Charles about the Royal Meadows.  

Joel makes no secret that his mentor and continued inspiration is Professor Chris Baines.  After advising BBC Gardeners’ World in 1979 on rich habitat gardens, Professor Baines was the first person to create a Wildlife Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower show in 1985.   So new was the concept of a Wildlife Garden that the Silver-Gilt medal awarded to Chris Baines was actually engraved “Wildfire Garden” as seen here:

Wildlife Show Garden Award RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Show Garden for Wildlife RHS Chelsea Flower Show

After co-founding the Urban Wildlife Group, the first of a series of urban conservation organisations, these groups were then better known as The Wildlife Trusts.  Professor Baines then went on to appear on and present many well-known TV shows throughout the 80s and 90s, and his original show “Your Country Needs You” evolved into the more familiar Countryfile.  Professor Baines continues to strive on behalf of wildlife and continues to advise government ministers, local councils and other organisations on environmental practice.   Above all, Chris continues to advise and mentor Joel on many aspects of his career and has become a trusted and valued friend.

It is safe to say that Joel has inspired thousands of people, across the globe, to think about wildlife when creating gardens and green spaces.  If you would like to speak with Joel, for him to undertake a consultation or to design, and create the right space for nature and for you, please drop us a line at

Chris Baines Wildlife Garden Designer with Joel Ashton


bottom of page