Lord Heseltine hailed as pioneer of environmental regeneration at Groundwork conference

Lord Heseltine was hailed for his pioneering role in establishing environmental regeneration as a national force at a conference for green-space professionals this week.

Groundwork, which hosted a major conference for 250 professionals in Manchester to celebrate its 30th anniversary, looked at who and what turned a fringe activity into the multibillion-pound mainstream business of today.

Lord Heseltine’s contribution was revisited on the same day 30 years later that he published a report on growth, which echoes his campaigns in the 1980s for devolving power to revitalise and reinvigorate industrial cities.

Speakers said key turning points then were the Brixton and Toxteth riots of 1981 bookended by the Aberfan disaster of 1966 and the collapse of coal mining in the mid to late 1980s.

Manchester University emeritus professor John Hadley singled out Lord Heseltine, the founder of Horticulture Week publisher Haymarket, for three key landmarks: Liverpool International Garden Festival, Mersey Basin Campaign and "Operation Groundwork" to set up five northern trusts, which led to the forming of Groundwork.

"Some people criticised him but I have sympathy; he understood the transformative power of positive change through landscape. The work changed the way people felt about themselves and their landscapes at a time of mass unemployment and deindustrialisation."

Environmentalist Chris Baines said the origins of Groundwork were borne of the riots of 1981. Heseltine’s "response was to counter the aggression of those times by helping to promote and create gentle landscapes."

Groundwork had three things to offer, said Baines: a long track record; integrity on delivery based on research and monitoring; and an "extraordinary alumnus, which is the sleeping giant of accumulative wisdom".


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

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

A wide range of first-time exhibitors and established names will showcase a wealth of new varieties at September's Four Oaks Trade Show, says Matthew Appleby.

Product and service showcase

Product and service showcase

Fresh solutions to production problems can be found among the array of products and services being introduced at the Four Oaks Trade Show, Sally Drury reports.

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Continual learning is an essential part of the job and professionals should embed it in their work process, says Alan Sargent.


 
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