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RGS is pleased to have been involved with Redrow Homes in the preparation of documents to support an outline planning application for a prestigious new residential development on the rural edge of Towcester, Northamptonshire.
The development of up to 210 dwellings will be set within 65 acres of mature parkland, surrounded and interspersed with mature woodland and specimen trees. The project will provide large areas of public amenity space, including a linear park with woodland walks and cycle routes.
RGS surveyed and recorded the trees in the autumn of 2014, subsequently producing a report and preliminary arboricultural impact assessment early in 2015. Outline consent for the development was achieved in April of this year, and RGS will be continuing to assist Redrow throughout the detailed design stage; ultimately producing an arboricultural method statement to discharge relevant planning conditions.
Working closely with a large design team, including landscape consultants, ecologists, archaeologists and planning consultants, has been a rewarding experience, not least because Redrow have been especially proactive in ensuring the input from all stakeholders in the project from a very early stage.
RGS now has a Pinterest pin board entitled Interesting Trees Check it out and follow at: https://uk.pinterest.com/rgs0318/interesting-trees/
Good practice in veteran tree management rolls out across Europe, thanks in no small part to the Ancient Tree Forum. Robert Yates (principal) has enrolled on the Ancient Tree Forum's 3 day course in December 2015; this is designed as an advanced course for trainers in 'Valuing & managing veteran trees'. Robert says,"I am excited at the prospect of delivering training to other professionals in 2016, I will keep you posted". To find out more visit the ancient tree forum.
The principle architect and mastermind behind Milton Keynes, Derek Walker, has died aged 85. Appointed as the new town's chief architect and planner in 1970 and hailed as 'one of the most important post-war British Architects', Walker pulled together a team of 200 to deliver 3,000 new homes a year in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Love it or hate it, Milton Keynes was intended to be the 'Forest City' we think it broadly achieved this goal.
Aerial photo of the proposed 'Stoneythorpe Village' site, this is also on the proposed route of HS2 which will enter a tunnel having crossed the flood plain by way of a viaduct.
A self-contained, highly sustainable mixed use development near Southam is set to become a reality, comprising up to 1000 homes, commercial and retail units, educational and amenity facilities, this development on a largely green field site has already been subject to public consultation and approval in principle from the local planning authority. RGS has been involved in the process since December 2014, having submitted an arboricultural survey and initial impact assessment, and having had input into the Environmental Statement. A full planning application is soon to be submitted and we expect to have further input over the coming months and years in association with Mayer Brown Ltd.
Robert took time out in March to join an audience at the Oxford Literary Festival where he listened to a lively debate between George Monbiot (author, journalist & environmentalist) and Cameron Hepburn (economist in energy, resources & the environment). The latter argued that the language that frames the 'Natural Capital' agenda is an essential tool in helping us to protect the natural world, or as Monbiot stressed,such a linguistic shift discourages us from embracing the intrinsic value of wild landscapes. Relevant books: Cameron Hepburn's 'Nature in the Balance: The Economics of Biodiversity' & George Monbiot's book 'Feral' (Orion non-fiction book award 2015).
Dominic Tyler, photographer and author of 'Uncommon Ground' joined the debate, and presented some of his stunning photographs of natural features to illustrate words that are gradually becoming obscure; for example 'Gwisgo'i Gap', 'Daddock' and 'Inosculation', the latter meaning the entwined and/or naturally grafted stems or branches of a tree. We will try to use as many of these words as we can, as often as we can.
We also suggest that anyone interested in landscapes and language may enjoy Robert Macfarlane's 'Landmarks', a glossary of words that will deepen your appreciation of the natural world e.g. 'Chissom' (the first shoots of a newly cut coppice) and the Northamptonshire word 'Dotard' (a decaying oak).