The value of teaching and learning in the external environment, particularly the provision for ‘free play’ in early years environments, is something we’re passionate about. Our team has developed specialist skills in educational landscape, in pre school, special needs, early years, primary, secondary and higher education settings. As part of a County Council, we are able to work closer with Children’s Services than any other landscape design practice. We also work closely with external agencies such as the Learning Through Landscapes Trust (LTL) to build on our reputation as a centre of excellence in this field.
Sensitive landscape design helps to bring historic sites to life in the modern world. Working with colleagues who specialise in historic buildings and conservation techniques, we delight in using landscape to tell the story of a place or to reflect history in a contemporary way. This has also helped to secure substantial external funding for a range of award winning projects.
Our designs for play environments take into account the age and needs of children, with features that merge both exercising and learning through play within a strong landscape setting.
A significant aspect of our practice is in the field of sports development. This includes multi use games areas (MUGAs) a range of synthetic turf pitches (STPs) for particular sports, athletics facilities and natural grass playing fields. These projects often are technically demanding, involving complex drainage and lighting solutions. Due to their scale and environmental impact, they are often controversial too. The group has developed particular skills in consulting with local residents and users and working through the planning process with the input of drainage, lighting and acoustic engineers to develop the most sensitive designs possible which minimise environmental impact.
Gardens are often the serene spaces where people spend their most enjoyable hours. Excellent landscape architecture is key to the design of care homes, and we have many years of experience designing gardens for residents. We found it often works best when residents are involved in the designs and the choice of external furnishings. As part of a County Council we also have a unique relationship with the social care providers in Adult Services, matching our designs to the specific needs identified by in-house care professionals.
We endeavour to incorporate public art within our projects wherever possible, working with a variety of artists to interpret and reinforce the function and meaning of the landscape.
Landscape Design Manager
The children are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the landscape work. They are enthusiastically making extremely good use of the outdoor learning areas already and are very pleased that so many of their ideas have been incorporated into the project. The feed back from parents and governors is equally positive.
Head teacher, Burgchlere primary