A luxury holiday park located in ancient woodland is incorporating the attainment of a prestigious environmental accreditation into its construction.
Rockingham Forest Park in Northamptonshire is the first location in the Landal GreenParks family to start working towards a full accreditation from Building with Nature. By registering for the assessment, Rockingham Forest Park is committing to the highest standards of landscape-led design to complement its rural surroundings.
Building with Nature is the UK’s first green infrastructure benchmark devised to ensure quality and consistency in the design, delivery and maintenance of green infrastructure according to key elements such as wellbeing, water and wildlife. Unlike mandatory planning requirements such as Biodiversity Impact Assessment, the Building with Nature Full Award is a voluntary accreditation, demonstrating the Landal Group’s commitment to the natural environment.
Working towards accreditation involves an independent assessment of Rockingham Forest Park’s delivery of good green infrastructure. Landscape architect and Building with Nature assessor Richard Heath of Lockhart Garratt has been appointed the assessor on the project. Lockhart Garratt is an independent environmental planning and forestry consultancy with head offices near to the Rockingham Forest site.
“I am very much looking forward to working on the Rockingham Forest Park project; I will be steering and advising the team through every stage of the design development process, including design plans, assessment reports and survey data,” explains Richard Heath. “Offering regular reviews and feedback will ensure a collaborative, landscape-led approach from the team in what is a rigorous and demanding process.”
Richard adds: “I am delighted by Rockingham Forest Park’s commitment to their green infrastructure which includes a number of assets from wildlife sites housing protected species, to footpaths, to a range of waterbodies. This approach will help ensure the protection and preservation of important habitats and the species that use them, at the same time as providing authentic recreational and educational experiences of the natural world for their guests.”
Sandra Tuck, Head of Accreditation at Building with Nature is delighted that Rockingham Forest Park is committing to an ethos of nature-friendly development from the design stage through to completion.
“We applaud Rockingham Forest Park’s commitment to supporting nature’s recovery, enabling people to lead healthier lives and reducing the impact of climate change by registering to apply for a Building with Nature Full Award,” comments Sandra. “Furthermore, we are confident that Richard Heath of Lockhart Garratt will support the design team to deliver a scheme that connects people to the natural world and enhances the Nature Recovery Network.”
Rockingham Forest Park will submit its application for a Building with Nature Full Award later this year. If the application is successful, the park will achieve the Building with Nature Full Award, subject to a 12-month post-construction check. This check ensures that site management and maintenance plans are working effectively and demonstrates Rockingham Forest Park’s long-term commitment to high-quality green infrastructure.
Lockhart Garratt (www.lockhart-garratt.co.uk): Founded in 1998, Lockhart Garratt employs a team of 34 staff and has offices in Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. The company offers consultancy services across a range of areas including arboriculture, ecology, landscape architecture, forestry, woodland management, green infrastructure, soil survey and land restoration. Lockhart Garratt started offering Building with Nature assessment services in 2020.
Landal GreenParks (www.landal.co.uk): Established in Holland, Landal GreenParks has over 80 holiday locations across Europe, including eight sites in the UK. The brand is part of Awaze, Europe’s leading managed holiday rentals and resorts business which includes brands such as Hoseseasons and James Villa Holidays.
Building with Nature (www.buildingwithnature.org.uk): Building with Nature began trading in 2018. Building with Nature is the UK’s first green infrastructure benchmark, developed from 2015 to 2018 as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the University of the West of England. Building with Nature sets a new UK standard for green infrastructure design and delivery, raising the bar for built environment professionals, through mainstreaming the delivery of high-quality green infrastructure in residential and commercial development. Building with Nature has created an open source set of quality Standards, a how-to guide for planners and developers and an accreditation system for policy and development, to help to secure benefits for people and wildlife, now and long into the future. Building with Nature offers assessment and accreditation to planners and developers using the Building with Nature Standards and green infrastructure training products for planners and built-environment professionals.