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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Biodiversity

    Biodiversity net gain report

    Department for Environment Food and Rural affairs’ summary of responses and government response. The consultation was launched in December 2018 and ran for 10 weeks. The consultation document first set out the objectives of an effective net gain policy for the environment, development and local communities. The second part of the consultation described what is meant by “biodiversity net gain” and “environmental net gain”. The third part of the consultation sought views on whether to mandate biodiversity net gain, and how a mandatory approach might be implemented most effectively. Here we summarise the findings of the consultation, with the knowledge…

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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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  • Glasgow Botanic Gardens now home to two robotic lawnmowers

    Glasgow Botanic Gardens is the latest high profile location in the UK to introduce Husqvarna Automower® to its maintenance process. It joins a growing number of places which are adopting robotic lawnmowing technology. Glasgow Botanic Gardens, located in the West End of Glasgow and managed by Glasgow City Council, covers 50 acres and is renowned internationally for its architecturally outstanding glasshouse, tropical plant collections and rose gardens. To add to the already impressive location, Glasgow City Council has recently installed two Husqvarna Automower® robotic lawn mowers, to ensure year-round results are delivered to the Garden’s lawns. The battery-powered robotic lawnmowers…

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  • Wild Coast to Coast challenge takes Rolawn’s fundraising to new levels

    To mark the 20th year of its nominated charity Greenfingers, the team at Rolawn has stepped up its fundraising efforts with multiple events throughout 2019. The latest – a two-day, 170-mile Coast to Coast cycle challenge – took place last weekend and raised £903, taking the total raised in the year to date to £1,860. On Saturday 10 August, four cyclists – Alan Featherstone, Mark Hatfield, Steve Handley and Kierron Moore – set off for Bridlington from Morecambe, with Mike Smith and Jonathan Hill providing both technical and moral support along the route. The team battled torrential rain and gales,…

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  • Ransomes TR320 provides the perfect balance of power, manoeuvrability and cut quality

    Ransomes tells Pro Landscaper about the TR320. The Ransomes TR320 triplex cylinder mower has been designed for many uses across the sports turf industry including rugby, football, cricket outfields, parks and gardens.   Cutting these areas requires a mower that offers strength, longevity, durability and a high-precision cut and with these features combined with the industry’s narrowest transport width, the TR320 is the perfect multi-area cylinder mower.   The industry leading machine uses a powerful 24.8hp Kubota diesel engine that sits transversely in the chassis enhancing the low centre of gravity and helping even weight distribution between the wheels. These…

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  • Smiths’ decorative shingle

    Smiths’ tells Pro Landscaper about its decorative shingle.  Pick the right decorative shingle and it can brighten up any garden design! Giving that landscaped project the finishing touch. Smiths’ range of decorative shingle is one of quality and can proudly boast the supply of the genuine Cotswold stone shingle. With those lovely warm, honey and cream colours of the region, it is a classic shingle that is understated yet sits very well in most environments. A similar offering is our Oxford range of decorative shingle, a blend of a subtler neutral beiges and creams, which also typifies the Cotswold area.…

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  • Get connected: Fresh thinking at FutureScape 2019

    You can now register for your free ticket to FutureScape 2019 online – and make sure you maximise your day by booking your seminar places too. REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE TICKETS The UK’s must-attend landscaping trade event, FutureScape 2019, returns this November.  Expect fresh, exciting new elements this year, as we’ve raised our game to help you raise yours.  The entire industry, in one place, on one day – 200 exhibitors and over 2500 expected in this not-to-be-missed arena for your landscape business. If you’ve attended before, you’ll know the seminar programme is a powerful one and if you haven’t – you’re…

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  • GreenBlue Urban launches RootSpace Generation 2

    GreenBlue Urban is launching the next generation of RootSpace® system, the most innovative soil cell in the industry. It is essentially a pavement support system, designed for maximum soil and rooting volume, to be ‘utility friendly’, with economic freight and industry-leading strength characteristics. RootSpace Generation 2 features the following improvements: New 400mm high version to enable a wider range of tree pit depths – now five different height configurations Faster, simpler and easier assembly process Further increase the load bearing capacity Enable easy re-excavation for maintenance of utilities Full structural capabilities are available but by way of an example, the…

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  • Flat Holm

    Flat Holm is the first island to be awarded ‘Bee Friendly’ status

    Flat Holm has become the first island to be awarded ‘Bee Friendly’ status. The ‘Bee Friendly’ scheme, which aims to make Wales the first pollinator-friendly nation in the world, has four priorities:   Providing pollinator friendly food sources. Freedom from pesticides and herbicides. Providing ‘five star’ accommodation for insect pollinators. Fun! Involving the community and telling people why you are helping pollinators.   Eleven different types of bee, including Large Red Tailed Bumble Bees, White-tailed Bumble Bees, Green Furrow Bees, Gooden’s Nomad Bees and Common Carder Bees, have been found on the island, which is also home to Painted Ladies,…

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  • Greenwich Park

    The Royal Parks reveals new designs for eco-friendly Learning Centre in Greenwich Park

    The Royal Parks has revealed the first designs for a new Learning Centre to be built in Greenwich Park, which includes the creation of new green park space for public use.   The plans are part of ‘Greenwich Park Revealed’, an exciting multi-million-pound project to conserve and enhance Greenwich Park’s historic and natural heritage, putting the community at its very heart.   Architects practice, Architype, won an open competition to produce the designs.   The proposed new Learning Centre will be built close to Vanbrugh Gate.   As a community hub, the Learning Centre will provide indoor and outdoor learning…

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  • Future Landscape Conference: book online now

    Recognising the sector’s drive to maximise the positive impact of urban spaces, The FL Conference is the new industry event for the commercial landscaping sector. Set in the heart of the capital at the Museum of London Docklands, delegates will explore and develop current themes and debate the latest advancements, opportunities and challenges facing the creation of tomorrow’s urban spaces. Book online: Early Bird Discount You can now book online. Tickets are £225 per delegate. Discounts for group bookings applies. Book tickets by 30 August for a 10% early bird discount. Commercial and Urban Spaces The FL Conference Programme covers…

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  • SketchUp

    SketchUp: A model workflow – part three

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  • DMU to plant 1,000 National Forest trees for new students

    De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is to plant 1,000 new trees in the National Forest on behalf of students joining this year. To mark the release of A-level results across the country this week and to celebrate the arrival of a new cohort of students next month, the university is planting hundreds of saplings. As a commitment to making a positive environmental impact, these trees will be planted on the site of the National Forest, a 200 square mile environmental project in the central England, which stretches from the outskirts of Leicester to Burton-Upon-Trent, in East Staffordshire. This week the…

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