In the Autumn of 2007 a small run down farm was purchased by our client with the intention of creating a new family home and rural escape. The smallholding comprised mixed neglected pasture, two arable fields and a neglected copse.
The development of Meadow Farm has involved extensive landscape design and landscape management to restore copse, meadow, arable fields and hedgerows. A blue print for practical design in the rural environment, maintaining strong ecological diversity, maximising the use of the landscape whilst incorporating the structures and spaces required by a new homestead.
The site featured heavy underlying wet clay soils with extensive groundworks undertaken to alleviate flooding, improve drainage, naturalise land form and create conditions for establishing new structural planting.
The project explored sustainable approaches to the design as a means of overcoming environmental problems of climate exposure and wet and heavy ground. This led to successful attempts to establish natural grass and flora meadows using the existing seed bank and relocation of native trees, lifted by tree spade from the over dense plantations already present on the farm.
The landscape design is intended to create a containment of the spaces around the house for both shelter and privacy. New indigenous hedges replace conifer hedging. Climbing plants are used to soften the new buildings and give a sense of age to the development structures. Local stone is used for paving and edging. Planting reflects a mix of ornamental, naturalised by the use of indigenous ferns and foxgloves.
A new, informal garden has been created to the front of the house, within shelter provided by new and existing hedges and trees. Whilst an array of ornamental species have been used to meet the clients’ requirements, the careful use of plants that reflect colour, form and textural qualities of the immediately surrounding natural landscape, have been used to create strong links with the greater setting.
The garden is used as a transition between the formal areas of the house and the informal natural landscape in which it is located.
Mown paths through new, species rich meadows, link garden and house with destinations throughout the farm, whilst a new watercourse has flora rich banks designed to control flooding.
The development of Meadow Farm continues to evolve with orchard and avenue tree planting, inclusion of garden structures and agricultural management.
Approximate Map Location
Aston Villa Football Club Ltd
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Highly commended, Design over 5ha category, LI Awards 2010
The landscape architects remit was to accommodate a new house into the landscape so that the new structures appear a natural part of the rural landscape "in a way that it would appear it has been there for a century", with responsibility for site planning, a landscape and visual impact assessment, sketch and detailed design, project implementation of external works, restoration of existing vegetation and landscape management of the farm from practical completion.
Architects: Dyers Architects, Cheltenham |Project managers: Faithful & Gould |Structural engineers: OBrien & Price |Arboricultural consultancy: Tree King Ltd |Ecological Consultancy: Just Ecology Ltd.
1.Pennant stone - the natural markings of the stone complementing the reclaimed red brick of the new walls, with natural high slip/kid resistance and inherent strength ensuring ongoing safety and durability.
Royal Forest Pennant CED Limited Majestic Trees Tendercare Nurseries Wyevale Nurseries
1. Indigenous hedges, replacing conifer wind breaks, used with trees to provide shelter & containment of the spaces around the house.
Charlton Abbotts Forestry Ltd Framework Construction