Tag: landscape restoration

forty hall facade

forty hall facade

The Forty Hall Estate landscape restoration project reportedly attracted £1.8 million of investment from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

I arrived onsite after the consultants and landscape designers had completed the planning stage as the contractors were about to break ground, and after the Hall itself had been repaired and refurbished through an earlier, generous HLF grant.

Regrettably, five years had elapsed since the public and onsite garden staff had been consulted about the landscape restoration proposal.

The role was to increase awareness and understanding of the local and onsite heritage and be a ‘face’ of the pre-planned restoration project: a job I would not recommend to my worst enemy.

From the surreal to the unbelievable, the down right vicious and ignorant to the plain nasty: I witnessed the petty-minded, party political game playing that has put me off local politics and Council politicians for life.

Add to that a resident unhinged animal rights protester, verbal and physical threats and the unwelcome advances of a certain stakeholder representative, I lasted just over a year before submitting my resignation.

Oh Enfield: who says the suburbs are dull !

forty hall woodcut forty hall misty urn

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.

Zardeniki 01

This Prussian manor house and estate was sold and broken-up following the fall of communism. The client, an owner of a design and build landscape company in Warsaw, asked me to prepare a data collection and concept design report to aid in funding applications.

Siedlice 01

This partially derelict building was my base for my first three months in Poland. Whilst the owners were abroad I was asked to look after the property and create flower and vegetable gardens, tame the old park and orchard terraces and remove as many carp from the ponds as possible (using the villager’s numerous Anglers).

The restoration work was carried out on the house by ‘men with big machines’. The JCB destroyed much of my work in the garden days before I left.

I also raised four Geese, my only companions with whom it seemed I could communicate! They were served for dinner after I left the site!

.

 

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.