Farrer On ... Environment offers economic solutions

It has been hard to avoid the much-debated news of prime minister David Cameron's reshuffle, with many looking to interpret the changes in every speculative detail.

From the demotion of his friend Michael Gove through to the notable promotion of more women to the cabinet, there is much for the press to be cynical about. Whatever the politics behind these changes, there is one woman in whom I am very interested.

Our new secretary of state for the environment, Elizabeth Truss, has a track record that suggests she is committed to achieving an economically and educationally competitive Britain. Her commitment to our environment, however, appears somewhat less convincing.

Having scoured through her website, the single reference to any environmental issue relates only to her Norfolk constituency's vulnerability to flooding. I am left somewhat unsure as to what this tells us about the party's environmental trajectory, and its engagement with the landscape professions, ahead of the next election.

But before we bemoan Truss's appointment as party political manoeuvring, perhaps we need to think more carefully about how the environment can be a real solution to her economic ambition. It would not hurt us to learn a little about the language of economics and investment.

Beautiful cities are desirable. They attract innovation, creativity, and investment. A commitment to public spaces will deliver the wealth creation that the minister seeks. Georgian and Victorian Britain, with their commitment to vast investment in quality place-making, have shown this is true.

So exactly what the reshuffle means for the environment is yet to be seen. But I hope that our profession will get to grips with Truss's language and be clearer on the economic benefits that investing in landscape brings. I also hope Truss recognises that this new position could offer an opportunity to achieve her economic aims. Perhaps this unlikely partnership is just what we both need.

Noel Farrer is a founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Tractors - Maintenance models

Tractors - Maintenance models

The tractors chosen by professionals across the sector reflect the best features, backup and support on offer, says Sally Drury.

Guide to Glee 2017

Guide to Glee 2017

A vast array of new garden products will be displayed at this year's show. Matthew Appleby previews what visitors can expect to see.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Landscape Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer