• Makita
  • Amy Fitz-Hugh

    • Business

      Business secretary launches £10m Brexit readiness fund

      Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has unveiled a £10 million grant scheme for business organisations and trade associations to support businesses in preparing for Brexit ahead of 31 October 2019.   Activities funded by the grants must be open to both members and non-members, and to businesses large and small preparing for Brexit on 31 October. This will ensure all businesses will benefit and can be reassured that they are fully ready, from major British producers to the smallest tech startups and entrepreneurs. There will be no barriers, such as affordability of membership.   Applications for grants will be accepted up…

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      £1.3m project Biophilic Wales given the go-ahead

      A £1.3m project, Biophilic Wales, that promises to boost the well-being of Welsh people, plants and pollinators has been given the green light.   ‘Biophilic Wales’ is being led by the National Botanic Garden of Wales and funded by Welsh Government’s Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being Grant. The main delivery partners in the project are Swansea Bay University Health Board, Natural Resources Wales and Swansea University.   The overall aim of Biophilic Wales is to increase the well-being of people, biodiversity and the environment, throughout Wales, using three interconnected work packages: Inspiring Spaces, Grasslands for Life and Plants for People.…

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      Botanists race to understand and conserve the plant species of the Amazon

      As a record number of fires continue to burn in the Amazon, concerned scientists at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) face a race against time to quantify the vast number of plant species in the biodiversity hotspot and determine their distributions and to support urgent conservation plans and action.   RBGE’s Dr Tiina Särkinen and Brazilian colleague Dr Domingos Cardoso of the Universidade Federal de Bahia recently led an international effort to quantify the plant species in the Amazon. Their list includes 14,003 species. This number is increasing almost daily as new species are discovered. Just last week RBGE’s…

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      Plant supply enhances exclusive retirement village

      An exclusive retirement villages will be enhanced by hundreds of plants and trees provided by Johnsons of Whixley.   The landscaped gardens at Gifford Lea, in the Cheshire village of Tattenhall, are one of the prime attractions of the select development of modern apartments, which also boasts an on-site spa, bistro and beauty salon.   Working with long-standing client and landscaping specialist Ashlea Limited, Johnsons supplied a variety of trees, shrubs, herbaceous and hedging plants.   Trees provided included five each of Acer campestre (field maple), Crataegus crus-galli (hawthorn) and Carpinus betulus Frans Fontaine (hornbeam), four Prunus taihaku (great white…

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      South Wales’ ‘lost peatlands’ granted funding to help restore it

      Funding will help restore over 540 hectares of neglected landscape and habitat, once known as the Alps of Glamorgan.   The Lost Peatlands of South Wales project is aiming to restore a historic peatland landscape.   The project has been awarded £260,000 by The National Lottery to develop its plans further. It can then apply for a larger grant of over £1.8million once its plans are fully developed.   This grant is the first major award given in The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s new focus areas of Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf. These have been identified as the two areas in…

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      Wildflower meadow

      Blooming Wild Devon scheme launches to create more wildflower meadows

      Devon Wildlife Trust has launched a Blooming Wild Devon Crowdfunder scheme to create more wildflower meadows across the county.   In Exeter the Trust are joining up with the City Council to further enhance the displays of wildflowers that have been bursting with colour on roadside verges, roundabouts and open spaces.   People are being asked to support the scheme by donating to Blooming Wild Devon. People have until Friday to make their pledges and can do so by clicking visiting the Devon Wildlife Trust – Blooming Wild Devon Crowfunder page.   In Exeter the plan is to connect wildflower-rich…

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      Heatherwick studio designs a gigantic planted pergola

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      Hundreds of trees planted in a pilot to help reduce flood risk

      Hundreds of trees have been planted as part of the first project to trial natural flood management techniques to help improve protection for the people of Leeds and living near the River Aire. The pilot site on a working farm at Eshton Beck, Gargrave now has 650 new trees planted by staff and trainees from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and volunteers. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has also worked on three further pilots on the same site, with a whole host of volunteers from the Environment Agency, Leeds City Council, Yorkshire Water, The Conservation Volunteers, Craven Conservation Group and SCAPA, a firm based…

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      Amazon rainforest burning at record rate

      Almost 73,000 fires have been recorded in the Amazon rainforest already this year – 85% more fires than were seen in the whole of 2018, according to the WWF. Land is cleared and prepared for agriculture through fires, but not normally at this intensity. The current dry season also contributes to the rapid spread of these fires. The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest and a key ally in fighting the climate crisis. The trees in the Amazon contain up to 140 billion tonnes of carbon. Despite covering only 1% of the planet’s surface, the Amazon is home to 10% of all the…

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      Govia Thameslink Railway staff and volunteers brighten up Royston station

      New floral displays have brightened up Royston station thanks to the efforts of residents and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) staff.   GTR colleagues and members of the public joined forces to paint 11 planters, fill them with 3,000 litres of compost and plant more than 100 locally sourced shrubs and flowers. Including cistus, vincas, heucheras and nandinas.   Wooden planters were all constructed by inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison, The Mount, based at Hemel Hempstead, as part of an ongoing community programme with GTR.   Following the success of a sensory garden at St Neots station, thyme, rosemary, lavender and…

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      Hackney Council trials glyphosate-free area

      Hackney Council is trialling a glyphosate-free area to promote biodiversity, increase green infrastructure, and see if abandoning the use of the herbicide means it can continue high standards of street maintenance.   The trial, which encompasses streets, estates and green spaces in the Daubeney area of Homerton, began earlier in the summer. It is hoped that the trial will demonstrate the effect of allowing these areas to grow naturally, so that decisions can be made about the future use of herbicides and other methods of removing weeds.   The trial comes in addition to a number of measures the Council is…

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      New survey ‘the Great British Hedgerow Survey’ launches

      Hedgerows are becoming increasingly fragmented which is threatening the wildlife that depends on them.   The wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), is launching a new national survey, the Great British Hedgerow Survey. It is encouraging the UK to health-check the nation’s hedgerows in an attempt to safeguard the future of this important habitat.   The survey offers instant feedback about the health of each hedge. As well as tailored advice on what type of management will ensure it thrives in the future. The results also provides conservationists with vital data helping build a national picture of the…

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      Cycad

      Cycad produces male and female cone at Ventor Botanic Garden

      A Cycad (Cycas revoluta) has produced a male cone at Ventnor Botanic Garden. This is the second time this has happened outdoors in the UK, the first was at VBG in 2012. Cycads are primitive plants that dominated the Earth’s flora some 280 million years ago until the evolution of flowering plants. During their reign, the Earth’s climate had naturally high levels of CO2. The climate of the Earth today, with artificially raised CO2 resultant from fossil fuel emissions, may have influenced the cone production.   This can be seen as further evidence from the plant kingdom of climate change…

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      Raingarden at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh proves success

      A new, experimental Raingarden at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) has proved its worth during recent heavy rainfall. It may also influence future site management and planting schemes for coping with climate change.   The Raingarden, completed in spring this year, features a range of carefully selected plants in a special mix of soil, compost, sand and gravel.  Following the August downpours, the garden successfully absorbed the excess water that fell, reducing floods on nearby paths and capturing rainwater for the benefit of the plants that grow there.   Measuring 20m long by seven metres wide, the Raingarden is…

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      Gateshead council trial battery powered machinery

      Council workers in Gateshead have been trialling new electrically-powered machinery – in a bid not to wake the neighbours.   Work on the central reservation and verges on the A184 Askew Road was able to start from 4.00am.   The busy dual carriageway which links the Redheugh Bridge with the A1 has housing close by and the council was concerned that the noise of grass cutting and other horticultural machinery so early in the morning might disturb local residents.   Instead of using the normal petrol-powered equipment, workers will be using a range of electrically-powered machinery currently on trial with…

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    • Associations
      HMP & YOI Parc

      Welsh prison wins RHS gardening award

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      agenda

      August’s Agenda

        Ben West, owner, Landscaping Solutions For me the question is not ‘should’ but ‘how’ do we encourage our clients to embrace naturalistic design. As we continue to hear stories of insect population crashes and the associated ecological effects we have a responsibility to spread the word about how important our client’s decisions are to the bigger picture. For me, the problem is how to make this shift in consciousness more desirable? As landscape professionals, we are well positioned to exact change as we are invited by the general public to offer advice and guidance as how best to use…

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      New regulations on the import of forestry machinery

      From 1st September 2019, machinery or vehicles that have been used for agricultural or forestry purposes will be subject to plant health regulations when imported from any third country. Importers must ensure that machinery or vehicles of this kind are accompanied by an official statement such as a phytosanitary certificate, detailing that they have been cleaned and are free from soil and plant debris. The requirements do not apply to new machinery and vehicles. All plant health import inspections of controlled agriculture and forestry machinery and vehicles landing in England and Wales will be performed by Animal and Plant Health…

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      Hicks Farm green space proposal

      Plans for the creation of c.12 hectares of greenspace at Hicks Farm in Throop are moving forward. With residents invited to attend two preliminary public exhibitions in September to help shape and inform the next stage of BCP Council’s planning application.   Proposals for Hicks Farm, which had previously been used primarily for private grazing, include a change of use to an attractive natural greenspace. This will include creating a network of new paths, access to a stretch of the River Stour, new tree planting and the reinstatement of hedgerows to improve wildlife habitats. It will also include a new…

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      British Sugar TOPSOIL supply soil to £23m mosque project

      A new £23m mosque in Mill Road, Cambridge, was designed by award-winning architects Marks Barfield who designed the London Eye. It is the city’s first purpose-built mosque and the most architecturally distinguished mosque in the UK. Columnar timber ‘trees’ form the main structure, both inside and out. With capacity for 1,000 worshippers, it is open to all faiths and its beautiful gardens can be used by members of the general public at any time, helping to break down barriers in the local community.   Landscape contractor Landshaped Ltd worked with landscape architects Urquhart & Hunt to create the gardens, designed…

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      HS2

      HS2 could be terminated as Government announces a review of the project

      The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today (Wednesday 21 August 2019) published the terms of reference and timetable for an independent review into the High Speed 2 (HS2) project.   Douglas Oakervee, will lead the review and will work with Lord Berkeley as his deputy. They will be supported by a panel of experts, bringing together a range of perspectives from business, academia and the transport sector to ensure an independent, thorough and objective assessment of the project. Panellists will each be consulted on the report’s conclusions.   The terms of reference published today confirm that the independently-led government review…

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    • Associations
      BALI awards

      BALI National Landscape Awards 2019 tickets now on sale

      Tickets for this year’s BALI National Landscape Awards,are now on sale. The Awards’ expert Adjudication Panel, led by Chair of the Adjudication Panel John Melmoe completed their site visits for applicable schemes earlier this month and final deliberations set to take place on 27, 28 and 29 August. With a record number of entries submitted since 2009, the BALI Award Adjudicators have been busy over the summer judging schemes up and down the country, with early indications showing once again a very high standard of quality has been achieved. Early bird tickets are available, priced at £175 per person (full…

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    • Design

      London Bridge Station hosts four show gardens

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      Broomfield Park

      Wetland created at Broomfield Park in Enfield

      A celebratory event at Broomfield Park has marked the opening of Enfield’s latest wetland project that will deliver a huge range of benefits to the community and environment.   The Rivers Trust and Thames21 have provided support to Enfield Council who have led the design and creation of the wetland. Funding has come from the Coca-Cola Foundation via a water stewardship partnership between Coca-Cola and WWF.   Guests at the opening were shown all the work of volunteers who took part in mass planting events. They heard about the multiple benefits that the wetland provides and were able to take…

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      Making horticulture accessible

      Rob Ironmonger, apprenticeship tutor at the YMCA, explains how new programme Hortability can help those with disabilities gain employment in the industry. More than 20% of the UK population is disabled. That’s 13.9 million people, according to a Family Resources Survey for 2016/17 by the Department of Work & Pensions. These numbers don’t just include physical disabilities, either – 24% of this total reported a mental health impairment, up 4% within only two years. But, how many of those who reported a disability are in employment? According to a report produced by  the House of Commons Library, 3.9 million people…

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