With May being International School Grounds month and Outdoor Classroom Day on the 23 May, this month is the perfect time to celebrate the great work done by our pioneering Hampshire County Council Landscape Architecture team who, in addition to creating life enhancing school grounds, work on a diverse range of projects from beachside coastal landscapes to agility trails in Country Parks.
School landscapes are a rich and diverse natural resource for learning and play outside the classroom and are an integral part of where children develop their sense of place, belonging, health, well-being and attainment. As well as design, the Landscape Architecture team work with steering groups and stakeholders to support the strategic planning of grounds’ development and together draw up Landscape Strategy Plans to be shared with the whole school community. As leaders in their field, the team collaborated with the charity Learning Through Landscapes to write and publish: 'A Fresh Approach to School Landscapes'. The book illustrates what is possible and practical to achieve in school grounds, to inspire and to make a difference for future generations of our children. This is intrinsic to a current project on site at South Farnborough which will give the school a new Harmony Garden with geological clock and Eco Huts.
Always looking for ways to innovate, the team are considering an offer to schools to support their grounds maintenance by adding to biodiversity options. Still in its infancy, it will be exciting to watch this idea grow.
Other notable works recently undertaken by the team included The Lookout at Lepe and the Forts and Fleets project at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, the latter project has sparked the interest of the Landscape Institute who celebrate their 90th Birthday this year. Another endorsement for the exemplar work of the Landscape Architecture team, the Queen Elizabeth Country Park case study was selected for inclusion in a report demonstrating the benefits of landscape investments for local authorities and how the skills of the landscape profession deliver wide-ranging public realm improvements in their communities.
With such a vast variety of work and projects, what’s next for this trail blazing team? Keep up to date @Hants_Property and find out.
More information about the Landscape architecture team and examples of projects.
Find out more about the Landscape Strategy Team
Images: Top left: Queen Elizabeth Country Park pizza oven shelter
Top right: Greatham Primary School Eco Garden
Bottom left: The Lookout at Lepe from beachside
Bottom right: Queen Elizabeth Country Park dog agility course