Tag: habitat creation

Planting Zebra bed

mykonos 09 towards helipadMy earliest memory is growing a runner bean from seed at kindergarten.This sprouting bean started my life-long passion of plants.

Since building my first greenhouse and tending to my first vegetable patch aged six, I have been designing with plants and am fortunate, truly fortunate, to have practiced my passion around the globe.

I consider inspiration gained from observing natural vegetation communities and an understanding of vertical stratification, plant tolerance ranges, behaviour and symbiosis hold the future for sustainable planting schemes for our gardens, communal landscapes and degraded habitats.

 

cornflower

My first dissertation (MA Hons Landscape Architecture) questioned to what extent habitat creation schemes were posing a threat to existing ancient grasslands? Using field surveys I undertook on various grasslands in Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire, academic literature and my own seed mix trials, I fostered an understanding of responsible wildflower-rich grassland creation.

The moral concerns of local genotype pollution., distribution of non-endemic and non-native species, and the misguided view that we can create facsimiles of ancient grasslands are not, in my opinion, aiding our environment.

The study of vegetation communities and self-regulation/competition can, however, be instrumental in creating sustainable planting designs and solutions.

For my advanced diploma (historic environment) dissertation, and my current thesis (archaeology), I am gathering field-name, place-name and primary documentation evidence (Medieval charters, perambulations, land registers) to record the age of certain habitats on certain areas (Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Essex, Middlesex, Hertfordshire) to increase our knowledge of where habitats developed under human influence.

I hope my findings may be of interest to masterplanners and decision makers in how we maintain, manage and enhance our local environments.

sea change 2030

The Sea Change 2030+ organised by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects was an ideas competition, intentionally ‘open’ for any type of landscape / seascape proposal for the Sydney Harbour responding to global climate change and sea level rise.

The solution offered by me and talented graphic designer Kamila Matla was a floating bio-remediation island linked to form modular archipelagos.

The multi-functional structure contains shellfish lines for sewage absorbtion and carbon sequestration, artificial reef habitat, intertidal mud banks with options for a nesting beach, sun bathing beach or mangrove plantation.

This solution offers a short-term staging post for displaced populations until sea levels stabilise and natural / semi natural landforms and habitats evolve.

Considering we were a two person team and the top three teams contained an average of ten people, we were very pleased to be one of five projects featured on the AILA’s web page.

helen panel 2

Whilst living in Athens, I was approached by Bobotis Architects to create the landscape component of their submission for the old airport site.

The team came fifth in the international competition (out of over 100 entries) with the landscape scheme proposing habitat enhancement of endemic garigue, maquis and sclerophyllic vegetation communities.