Consultant offers green space planting alternative

Arboricultural consultant and public space manager Clive Mayhew gave an innovative talk to local authority green-space managers looking at an alternative way of making planting selections for projects at Palmstead's open day.

He suggested using the historical context of plants - when they were first brought to the UK, for example - to make suitable planting selections for park and open space restoration projects.

He later joined Land Use Consultants principal Dominic Cole in a lively discussion with members of the audience, who complained about the quality of their green-space maintenance and a general lack of resources.

However, a number of comments from the floor suggested that they themselves were the authors of their own predicament. The speakers emphasised that it was managers who could make the difference by improving the skill levels in their workforce and communicating with the maintenance teams and their political masters.

Designer Wayne Hemingway has blamed the "rabbit hutch" bias of new housing on the planners. He suggested they lacked the imagination to work with designers and developers. Through his work at The Bridge at Dartford, he showed how sustainable community spaces were being created and used by the adjoining residents and were now producing higher-than-average margins for the builders.

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