Palmstead Nurseries marketing director Nick Coslett is hoping his annual soft landscape workshop will raise awareness that the Building Research Establishments (BREEAM) point system is limiting the plants which are approved for use by planting designers.
He says: "Part of the problem is that BREEAM insists in use of native plants only (without any justification that they are right plant right place). The principle behind the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM is that development sites will offer better biodiversity after development than before - is not in question. However, designers wanting to use non-natives for their longer display season and in many cases higher ecological values have to work hard to justify their inclusion.
"I have heard from many top landscape architects and designers who are frustrated by this state of affairs and would welcome the topic getting a good airing. That is what we propose at this years soft landscape workshop - our annual gathering of 300-plus landscape and garden professionals, now in its sixth year."
This year's speakers on 25 September at Ashford International Hotel in Kent include Professors Chris Baines and Nigel Dunnett alongside Tony Kirkham and Kate Bradbury. Coslett hopes to get a representative from BRE too.