Right Tree Right Place: A Landscape Approach

Fiona Fyfe Associates with Dominica Williamson for Devon County Council (Ongoing)

This ongoing project provides guidance for those wishing to plant trees in Devon. Devon County Council is keen to meet sustainability targets and enhance biodiversity through tree planting, but also needs to ensure that the newly-planted trees respect and enhance landscape character, and are not detrimental to existing ecological and heritage assets. This publication takes key messages relating to tree planting and landscape character from a wide variety of sources, including the Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust, Devon Environment Viewer and the Devon-wide Landscape Character Assessment. It provides guidance to ensure that the right tree is planted in the right place, and that local variations in landscape character are sustained and enhanced through appropriate tree planting.

Jersey Coastal National Park Boundary Review

Fiona Fyfe Associates with Karin Taylor and Countryscape for Government of Jersey (2020)

This innovative project helps the Government of Jersey achieve its ambition for a unique National Park which extends both inland and out to sea, encompassing terrestrial, intertidal and marine areas.

A project-specific methodology was developed based on the existing Natural England methodology for designating Protected Landscapes, but tailored for application in Jersey’s unique island environment. The criteria for inclusion within the Jersey Coastal National Park work equally well for land and marine areas.

In addition to extending the National Park offshore, the recommended Coastal National Park boundary also aims to ensure that the coastline and its inland and seaward setting are appropriately protected, and provides a clear, consistent and unambiguous boundary for the National Park. It also reflects the updated landscape and seascape typology provided in the Jersey Integrated Landscape and Seascape Character Assessment (Fiona Fyfe Associates 2020).

Kent Downs AONB Landscape Design Handbook Update

Fiona Fyfe Associates with Untitled Practice for Kent Downs AONB (2019)

This handbook provides practical advice and inspiration to promote landscape-sensitive design within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Given the designation of the area as AONB, it is vital that the characteristics of the Kent Downs landscape are understood, protected and enhanced in order that the evolving landscape retains its special character. The Landscape Design Handbook aims to ensure that any new development, land use or land management approach respects and enhances the Kent Downs’ unique sense of place. It sets out design principles and detailed design recommendations to promote good practice in landscape design across the AONB, to enhance the distinctive features of the landscape and to promote local variation in landscape character.

The updating of the Landscape Design Handbook is very timely given the unprecedented pressure for development both within the AONB and within its setting. Some of the pressure is from large-scale development, but small-scale development and change can also be damaging to local character unless it is undertaken sensitively. The Handbook addresses one-off and cumulative landscape changes, and is relevant to both development planning and landscape management projects.

Review of South Ayrshire Local Landscape Areas

For South Ayrshire Council as subconsult to Carol Anderson Landscape Associates (2018)

Scottish Planning Policy recognises the value of locally-designated landscape areas, in order to: Safeguard and enhance their character and quality which is important or particularly valued locally or regionally; promote understanding and awareness of their distinctive character and special qualities; safeguard and promote important local settings for recreation and tourism, and afford them appropriate levels of protection in Local Plans.

Fiona Fyfe assisted Carol Anderson with the review of Local Landscape Areas for South Ayrshire, providing specialist expertise in community and stakeholder consultation, and in cultural/ historic landscapes. The study area contains numerous historic estates, including Culzean and Glen App, as well as the historic Turnberry golf resort, weaving villages, harbours, and sites associated with poet Robert Burns.

Wandle Vistas Project

For Living Wandle Landscape Partnership with Untitled Practice (2018)

This is a legacy project for the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership in south-west London. The project has an urban context, as the River Wandle rises near Croydon and meets the Thames at Wandsworth. This project used extensive community consultation to define what makes a ‘Wandle Vista’ and to identify ten key viewpoints which together tell the landscape story of the Wandle Valley. The project is closely aligned with the London Plan, London View Management Framework and All London Green Grid.

Working with volunteers is a key part of the project, and Fiona delivered training on landscape assessment techniques, historic map analysis and digital archive resources. Project outputs include a planning document for London Boroughs to take forward into their own Local and Neighbourhood Plans, and interpretation materials to inspire local people to understand and engage with the Wandle Valley landscape. Also included are a range of measures to enhance and raise awareness of the viewpoints which will contribute to the Living Wandle Legacy.

The Aberdeen Landscape Study

With Douglas Harman Landscape Planning, Carol Anderson Landscape Associates, Buchan Landscape Architecture and Countryscape (Ongoing)

Fiona is providing specialist input on landscape archaeology and cultural heritage to the team led by Douglas Harman Landscape Planning. Her research focusses on both designated and non-designated sites and landscapes within the study area, and enables them to be recognised when planning for the future. The Aberdeen Landscape Study comprises a suite of complementary documents, including a Coastal Character Assessment; revised and updated Landscape Character Assessment; Peri-urban Study, and Landscape Sensitivity Study.

Blackdown Hills Landscape Enhancement Initiative

For Blackdown Hills AONB (2017)

This project was commissioned through the National Grid Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI) scheme, open to protected landscapes which are affected by high voltage power lines. It identified a number of landscape enhancement opportunities within the Blackdown Hills AONB which fulfil the LEI criteria, including strengthening historic landscape patterns of hedgerows; enhancing the settings of settlements and listed buildings; opportunities for habitat creation and enhancement, and improvements to public access.

Northampton Green Infrastructure Plan

With Countryscape and the University of Northampton (2016)

This document provides a framework for the practical implementation of Green Infrastructure through the planning process. It is intended for use by planners, developers, project managers, community groups and other organisations. It puts strategic thinking on Green Infrastructure into practise at the local level, and enables the Local Authority to act on their obligations with regard to creation and enhancement of GI as set out in European, National and Local planning policy.

The Green Infrastructure Plan divides Northampton’s Local Level Green Infrastructure Network into a series of Components. These Components are either based on geographical location or on the type of Green Infrastructure which they represent. By splitting the Local Level Green Infrastructure Network into its components, it is possible to understand how the Network functions at a local level, and what needs to be done to enhance it. A series of profiles put each of the Components into their Green Infrastructure context, and describe their existing and potential functions in terms of biodiversity, connectivity and access, community and public health, landscape, heritage, flooding and water management and ecosystem services. The Green Infrastructure Plan is also integrated with the Northampton Interactive Map.

Medway Green Infrastructure Planning Project

With Countryscape (2015)

This project was commissioned by Medway Council, and is a technical study to inform the forthcoming Medway Local Plan. It provides a strategic vision for Medway’s Green Infrastructure, and will also inform the choice of sites allocated for development. It will be taken forward by Medway Council to discuss local issues and opportunities to address in the emerging Local Plan. The report introduces the concept of Green Infrastructure, and the range of Green Infrastructure assets present within Medway. It identifies issues and opportunities to be addressed through Green Infrastructure, covering the themes of landscape, biodiversity assets, open spaces, movement networks, and social and public health issues. A strategic vision for Medway’s Green Infrastructure is presented, along with potential delivery mechanisms to achieve it. More detail on Green Infrastructure assets and opportunities is provided for five focus areas which are experiencing particularly acute development pressure.

Telford and Wrekin Strategic Landscapes Study

With Douglas Harman Landscape Planning and Countryscape (2015)

This project forms part of the evidence base for the forthcoming Telford & Wrekin Local Plan. It identifies three landscapes which are of distinctive character and special quality, and provides information about their key characteristics and sensitivities. Planning and management principles are provided to help ensure that these special qualities are retained and enhanced in the future. The Strategic Landscape Areas will be a useful tool for Telford & Wrekin Council in their ongoing work to protect and enhance these particularly special and valued landscapes.