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Our Approach

Parks and gardens

Our approach to understanding parks and gardens is built on:

  • A precise and accurate survey, supported where necessary by associate specialist consultants such as ecologists and arboriculturalists
  • Use of LiDAR, digitised map and aerial photograph regression, and primary documentary sources to ensure accuracy and understand limitations
  • Advice from specialists on particular periods and designers
  • Understanding of the place of parks and gardens in landed estates
  • Restoration design and planting based on sound botanical knowledge, with a particular empathy with the great twentieth-century planting designers like Norah Lindsay and Vita Sackville-West 

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Historic landscapes

Our work on historic landscapes is driven by enthusiasm for the variety and complexity of England and its settlements, and the need to reflect this richness in assessments and new developments.

It is based on

  • Long experience and study of the traditional approach to the English landscape such as the work by the likes of WG Hoskins

Allied to  

  • A modern analytical approach based on characterisation, techniques such as digital map regression, and the use of primary sources wherever possible 

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Aviation and military history

Interest in military sites arose when we were asked to prepare a conservation plan for RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire. It has since spread to studies of airfields in Essex, Kent, Sussex and Suffolk.  Much of the fascination of researching these sites comes from the fact that although the Air Ministry, RAF and United States Airforce kept very detailed records, many of these have since been destroyed. The history of an airfield often has to be pieced together from fragmentary references and building analysis.

The particular qualities that we can bring are

  • A landscape-led approach centred, for example, on how buildings on an airfield were related by function and the full context of airfield defences
  • Knowing our way around military records and oral history sources
  • Relating airfield buildings to particular phases of use, particularly for the Cold War  

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Churches and burial grounds

Our work on places of worship and burial grounds ranges from country house chapels to the great London cemeteries. Our expertise includes:

  • Familiarity with Anglican and Catholic records, documents and customs
  • Analysis of the development of individual churches and the expansion and contraction of their burial grounds
  • Understanding of the English cemetery movement
  • Understanding the wider landscape and townscape context of churches

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