All shades of green by Keith Baker

  A Facebook post about a former house-mate of mine who now teaches at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (http://www.stockholmresilience.org) got me thinking about their area of interest, namely the complex challenges facing humanity and their belief that;  In our globalized society, there are virtually no ecosystems that are not shaped by humans and no humans without the need for ecosystems and the services they provide. Protecting and enhancing ecosystems and their biodiversity is one of the key roles of our profession and at terra firma…




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How do you start to design elements of a Stone and Bronze Age landscape? – By Alice

As a practice we often get involved in a wide range of interesting projects that can sometimes be quite a challenge and take a turn in the most unexpected direction. Over the past year we have been closely involved with the directors and staff at Butser Ancient Farm helping them to develop new ideas to improve the visitors’ experience based on academic research, the testing of archaeological theories and encouraging school children and the public to engage and take away with them new practical skills,…




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Northward bound

A recent work visit has taken me to Scotland, where twice a year I visit the National Air Traffic Control Centre at Prestwick to see how the landscape management at one of the longest running projects in the terra firma portfolio is progressing nearly 13 years after completion. http://www.terrafirmaconsultancy.com/portfolio/nats-air-traffic-control/ Once a year I visit my older sister in Dundee on the back of this visit, which is always a long awaited and much enjoyed long weekend. The journey from NATS starts with a train ride across…




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End of year blog from Lionel, Dec 2017

Final week before Christmas and we are fully ensconced in our new offices across the other side of Petersfield on the Business Park. Bit of a culture change from being in rather more characterful offices in the town centre but in many ways more convenient for the necessities of parking and access along with the room for expansion and a serious investment in new furniture, technology and streamlined systems. So we are in, would welcome visits from clients and colleagues (pre-arranged please!) and have had…




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Hmm that looks nice I’ll think I’ll eat it! by Paul Strugnell

Looking through recent advice on plants suitable for schools you would think that children these days were intent on stuffing their faces with any available plant imaginable. Various lists are available offering advice and guidance on plants suitable for schools, including lists of potentially harmful plants running to several pages in length.  So what is the risk?  Not much when you look into it, the top 5 poisonous plants, the ones that will put you in hospital for a while, are not common garden plants but…




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A Humanitarian Role – Landscape Architecture’s New Direction

We were lucky enough to have a recent visit from Rhys Jones, a graduate of The University of Gloucester who has been investigating the role of landscape architects in humanitarian work. His dissertation was on the role landscape architecture can play in refugee camps and slums and terra firma were delighted to be able to provide some sponsorship for his recent study trip to Nicaragua. Below is a precis of his presentation which he has kindly agreed to let us share. During the course of…




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Mind the (June….) gap (written by Gill)

‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.’ (Erroneously attributed to Einstein) “100 years ago there were around 1million bee hives; this had reduced to 400,000 in the 1950s and further reduced to the 274,000 today. It is estimated for the UK that the pollination services from honey bees are worth £120-200 million annually and honey production is…




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Landscape Architects -The Last Polymaths (by Niall Williams and edited by Garry Main)

I recently read an interesting article by the BBC which asked ‘Does the World Need Polymaths?’ and it got me thinking about the role that Landscape Architects play in a broader sense. Polymath is a term I was (and I imagine others are) unfamiliar with until recently so to briefly explain, a polymath is someone whom has a broad knowledge in a range of subjects. They can be experts in a several fields or someone who has a very broad but less in depth understanding…




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A clash of landscape, photography and the distant future by Davon Bree

…three things I find myself pondering regularly. This is a bit of a long one but bear with me… Let me start at the beginning…picture the scene. University…third year comes around and with it the dreaded dissertation. (Cue the big gulp from students in the room). The thought of having to write 10,000 words was daunting and what to write about? Thankfully we we’re given some suggestions of landscape projects and subjects to cover. One project on the list stood out for me….Gardens by the…




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Landscape architects: worth our weight in gold! by Alison Galbraith

Keith and I were fortunate enough to be invited to this year’s ICE South East England Engineering Excellence Awards 2017 as guests of Peter Brett Associates.  We collaborated with their Water Management Team on the diversion and restoration of a stretch of the Hermitage Stream in Havant, Hampshire, which was short-listed in the Sustainability and Resilience category.   See website for more details:  http://dunsburypark.co.uk/woodland-setting/ The project required close co-ordination between the civil engineering aspects of bank stabilisation and hydrological management, and ecological, soils and wider…




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