The Landscape Management Leadership Forum members will provide the LI with insight into new areas of the profession
The Landscape Institute (LI) has met with a number of well-respected figures within the landscape management and policy disciplines to help improve its offering to a broader range of practitioners.
In the inaugural meeting of the Landscape Management Leadership Forum, attendees discussed how the LI might be able to attract and retain members from some parts of the landscape sector not currently reflected in the LI membership.
The ultimate goal, over a two-year period, is to re-shape entry requirements, CPD, training, standards and guidance, influencing, and the overall offer for landscape management practitioners. The LI believes that as an organisation, we can do more to provide the support and services that this area of the profession needs, just as we have done for landscape designers and planners over many years.
LI President Merrick Denton-Thompson, who chaired the meeting, said: ‘It is my view that the Landscape Institute should be inclusive in attracting all the professional skills that determine our landscapes today. Some of the most profound changes to the landscape are not through design, but through a myriad of day-to-day management decisions often driven by policies unrelated to design and construction.’
the Landscape Institute should be inclusive in attracting all the professional skills that determine our landscapes today
Expanding the membership to encompass a greater number of management and policy professionals is part of the LI’s aspiration to become the professional home for all practitioners who transform the built and natural environment. Steps have already been made in this direction, with a number of landscape management courses – including the fondly remembered course at Wye College – being accredited. Landscape managers now account for over 10% of the membership. But, intimated Merrick, against a potential membership of many thousands, and given the need of a professional body focussed on multi-purpose landscape infrastructure, ‘there is more that the LI can and should be doing’.
‘With this breadth of influence,’ Merrick continued, ‘the landscape profession will be a force to be reckoned with, and its holistic service to society will become central to the quality of our urban and rural landscapes everywhere.’
Invited on the basis of profile, sector, and geography, the Landscape Management Leadership Forum members will provide the LI with insight into areas it has yet to reach. Attending the first meeting were:
- Alison Barnes, CEO at the New Forest National Park Authority
- Mark Camley, Executive Director of Park and Venues at the London Legacy Development Corporation
- Howard Davies, Chief Executive at The National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Chris Fairbrother, Landscape Lead for the Strategy and Partnerships Team at South Downs National Park Authority
- Euan Hall, Chief Executive at the Land Trust
- Sue Ireland, former Director of Open Spaces at the City of London
- Sally Marsh, Co-Director of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership
- Liz Newton, Director of Strategy Development at Natural England
- Julie Procter, Chief Executive at greenspace scotland
- Jim Smyllie, former Executive Director of Strategy at Natural England
- David Solly, People and Access Specialist at Natural England
- Stephen Trotter, Director for England at the Wildlife Trusts
In recognition of their status as market leaders who meet the levels of professionalism and technical expertise required of all LI members, the LI Board of Trustees has invited all attendees to join the LI membership.
LI Head of Technical and Professional Services Simon Odell CMLI remarked upon a ‘fruitful and positive first step’, noting a ‘strong welcome’ for the LI’s aims and a ‘real desire to help’. All attendees agreed that many more landscape managers could and should have a home within the LI, and an emphasis emerged on breaking down barriers that have arisen through prejudice and lack of understanding.
The next meeting of the Landscape Management Leadership Forum will take place in the autumn, and will look at required education, skills and competencies and how they fit with course accreditation, routes to licentiate membership, and the Pathway to Chartership. This will include both present needs and anticipated needs for the future. If you would like to be part of a wider reference group, please get in touch with Simon Odell.