Due to the continued risk and unpredictability of COVID-19, in particular the Delta variant, the Landscape Institute (LI) Board of Trustees will continue to suspend in-person events.
In November 2020, the Landscape Institute Board made the decision to maintain online-only activity for the 2021-22 financial year, and the LI has planned accordingly. We confirm that this decision remains unchanged: with the exception of the CMLI graduation ceremony in March 2022, our events will remain online until the end of March 2022.
COVID-19 remains unpredictable. The ‘Delta’ variant of the virus continues to spread throughout the UK, forcing the UK Government to delay the final phase of lockdown easing in England until 19 July. The Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh Governments have all announced similar delays; and we must be mindful that another variant of the virus could reach our shores, forcing further delays or even a return to stricter measures.
About the Board’s decision
What happens next is far from certain. The safety and wellbeing of our members, volunteers, staff and colleagues is and must remain our primary concern.
The Board must also consider any potential impact on the LI’s finances. In early 2020, the LI had to react swiftly to the emerging threat of the pandemic, postponing several key events and moving a number of services online. The Board has judged that prematurely lifting the restriction on in-person events, only to have to revert suddenly to remote delivery, would expose our financial stability to an unacceptable level of risk.
Our digital transformation over the past few years has allowed us to meet the challenge of COVID-19 head-on, offering more accessible events and training to our members around the world. It has also helped us take great steps towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2029. We currently feel it is best to continue capitalising on these innovations, and to wait until next year to return to providing any in-person events with confidence and certainty.
The Board will continue to monitor the situation closely and review our decision on a regular basis, starting at our next official meeting on 14 September 2021, to ensure we’re acting in the very best interests of our members, volunteers and colleagues.
The LI will also be working closely with branches to plan for the year ahead. We’ll be considering what has worked well for members over the past 18 months, and will consult you later in the year to help shape a quality, sustainable post-pandemic meetings and events programme.
The Landscape Institute Board of Trustees
Jane Findlay CMLI, President
Carolin Göhler FLI, Vice-President
Adam White FLI, Immediate Past President
Dr Keren Jones CMLI, Honorary Secretary
Kate Bailey CMLI
Christine House CMLI
Marc van Grieken FLI
Dr Wei Yang
Who does this apply to?
This applies to all volunteers acting on behalf of the Institute including our branches, standing committees, working groups, Board, Council, and any other roles. We have a duty of care to both our volunteers and those they meet as LI representatives. The cessation of in-person events applies across all LI branches, including those in the devolved nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The policy also applies to LI staff. We are encouraging our staff to work from home where possible, with the central offices on Tottenham Court Road only open to a limited number of people. We ask staff who do use the Tottenham Court Road office to book their visit in advance, and to adhere to social distancing measures while in attendance.
When will the LI review this policy?
The Board will continue to monitor the situation closely and review our decision on a regular basis, starting at our next official meeting on 14 September 2021, to ensure we’re acting in the very best interests of our members, colleagues and volunteers.
Will the LI’s Public Indemnity Insurance provide cover any face-to-face events?
No. As face-to-face events do not comply with the Board’s decision to maintain online-only activity, the LI’s insurance will not cover these events. Disregarding the Board’s decision will put members, volunteers, colleagues, guests and the LI at unnecessary risk.
Has the Institute changed its policy on site visits?
The LI’s current guidelines on Site Visits and Fieldwork During the COVID-19 Pandemic (issued April 2020) remains valid, and applicable to all four nations.
If you do leave your home for landscape work, you should refer to the latest GOV.UK (England) guidance for:
- Working in construction or outdoor spaces
- Working in heritage locations (including parks, gardens and landscapes)
- Working in other people’s homes (including gardens)
For landscape and parks managers, existing GOV.UK (England) guidance remains relevant in many instances, as well as the above. In particular: