View from the canopy, by guest author Bernie Harverson

My name is Bernie Harverson and I am a self-employed Arboricultural Consultant with 47 years experience in the industry. I acquired my love of trees from the age of 11 when my parents moved from urban Ashford west London to rural leafy Haslemere in Surrey where, instead of climbing drainpipes and onto garage rooves I started climbing trees – ‘free climbing’ of course as there were no lifelines and safety harnesses in evidence then! I then wanted to identify the different trees species and a…


‘Only connect’ (by Keith)

Recent news that the dormouse has been reintroduced to Wensleydale 100 years after they were last recorded there is part of move to try and reverse their drastically depleting numbers which has seen them classed as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species https://ptes.org/campaigns/dormice/ . Dormice depend on well-managed interconnected woodlands and hedgerows for their survival. They are entirely arboreal and to ensure a healthy gene pool and access to sufficient food, aerial routes between copses and hedgerows are crucial to their…


Home is where the heart is (by Martin)

At terra firma our work with the Housing sector constitutes a sizable portion of the firm’s overall output. This emphasis on residential development is no coincidence, as it no-doubt reflects an emphasis in the broader construction sector. It will be no surprise to readers of this blog that Landscape Architects are keen to promote the virtues of integrating good design of the external spaces in any housing development. To that end, the Landscape Institute produced a Position Statement, ‘Making it Home: the power of landscape…


Brexit station approaching….. all change?

When we finally set off down the no doubt long and winding Brexit road, as landscape architects we are likely to notice some effects on agricultural policy, environmental law and planning law and policy. Like everything, much of the outcome on these aspects of policy and law will be dependent on the type of legal agreement between the UK and the EU. As far as I can understand (and I’m no expert – seemingly in good company here with many far higher up the pecking…


End of year Blog 2016, by Lionel

2016 celebrated my 20th year at the helm of terra firma and it came at the same time as the 50th anniversary of the Landscape Architecture course at Leeds which was the training ground for both my predecessor John Wigham (who founded the firm in 1985) and I, as well as for a fair few other senior members of our team; Robyn, Martin and Alice.  We produced some display boards, as requested of all alumni by the University for their celebration, which deliberately coincided with…


Sum of its Parts? by Paul Strugnell

Building Regulations are often mentioned but not necessarily fully understood, we all have come across Part M & Part K but what about the other lesser known building regulations. Many cover the structural elements of a building but as buildings sit within a wider landscape and are connected to an external environment there is cross over between ‘building’ and ‘landscape’. Building Regulations 2010 for England are the legal minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to virtually every building. They are developed by the Government…


Views of landmark features – who cares?! by Alison Galbraith

I was recently discussing sites for new housing development with a fellow villager and something she said made me stop and think.  I was saying that one site being considered in the neighbourhood plan, and for which I was volunteering, giving landscape advice to the development brief, had to be considered in light of the fact that views to the church were available across the site from the road approaching the village. She interrupted me, saying, ‘why on earth is that important?’  And this response…