LI president Jo Watkins and chief executive Alastair McCapra visit key branch events around the country

A busy week for LI branches

The Yorkshire and Humberside branch may have broken a record, a recent record at least, for turnout at its Practice Showcase launch on 23 March. So many people packed into the Sheffield Winter Gardens it was difficult to count them. A low estimate is 120, while less cautious numbers are as high as 160.

Around a dozen landscape practices featured their work in an exhibition which is now open to the public. The meeting also had a presentation about the award-winning Sheffield Gold Route from Richard Watts CMLI, principal landscape architect at Sheffield City Council.

President Jo Watkins and chief executive Alastair McCapra attended the launch to support local practices and promote the ‘Why Invest in Landscape?’ campaign.

The following day, the LI’s Northeast branch held a meeting, the main focus of which was a presentation about the Durham Heritage coast, winner of the UK Landscape Award in 2010.

The project is also the UK’s entry for the European Landscape Award 2011. Both Watkins and McCapra were on hand following the presentation to take members’ questions on a wide range of topics and promote the‘Why Invest…?’ campaign.

Watkins said: “It was such a good day for visiting the Durham Heritage Coast. I had no idea of the scale of the project. It deserves a wider audience so let’s hope the European judges get it right!”

“It is always a great pleasure to join branches for their events, visit local practices and see what the profession is achieving around the country,” added McCapra.

GI seminar in Belfast
On 24 March, the University of Ulster in Belfast played host to a free seminar, organised by the LI and WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), on the benefits of green infratsructure.

An interesting set of speeches were delivered courtesy of LI Policy Committee member Peter Wilder on how green infrastructure can be applied to the design of new towns, and Kevin Halpenny, from Fingal County Council, on how green infrastructure is central to planning policies in the Dublin area.

Attendees were then invited to an informal workshop where they gathered around a map of Belfast to discuss the relevance of green infrastructure to the city.

Emily Smyth, a member of the LI Northern Ireland branch committee and LI Policy committee, spoke to Landscape News & Events on maintaining awareness of the importance of landscape architecture in Northern Ireland.

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