Key landscape influencers

Landscaping's key players are a broad church stretching from global multidisciplinary businesses and national operators to established single-office firms, Josephine Smit reports.

Hinkley Point: extensive landscaping work involved in development of nuclear power station - image: Flickr/Mark Robinson
Hinkley Point: extensive landscaping work involved in development of nuclear power station - image: Flickr/Mark Robinson

Climate change, energy supply, cities, transport and housing. These are all concerns at the top of the global political agenda and landscaping consultants are at the heart of each them. Their contribution is starting to be recognised. Landscaping and public realm experts have roles on the design panel advising the new High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link extending from London to Birmingham, and then on to Manchester and Leeds.

Our tables show key firms, ranked according to the estimated number of projects they are promoting through the planning system and by the total overall value of those projects (below) — both in progress and in the pipeline. They could be considered as among landscaping’s most influential firms.

The two lists show that these key landscaping players are a broad church. There are the global multidisciplinary businesses such as Grontmij and national operators like Pegasus Group. Then there are the star garden designers such as Andy Sturgeon, and established single-office firms like Wolverhampton’s Bea Landscape Design.

Some businesses have capitalised on the opportunities offered by developing sectors such as renewable energy. For example, LDA Design has worked with solar companies like Luminous Energy and Big60Million as well as Tidal Lagoon Power, the organisation behind plans to build the first purpose-built tidal range power station in the world at Swansea Bay.

Gillespies is advising on a very different energy project — the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset — and has also worked on the appraisal of sustainability report for HS2. At Hinkley Point, a £16m package of road improvements, including a park-and-ride facility for construction workers, is already under construction.

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