The study was directed and carried out by a WYG team of chartered landscape architects, working closely with CCBC, a GIS consultant and a community group. They:
- coordinated a SWOT analysis with community and stakeholders;
- developed ideas and approaches to overcome the challenges and realise the opportunities;
- tested those opportunities through stakeholder workshops and interviews to obtain buy-in;
- assessed each opportunity against SMNR criteria to select the options which maximise benefits;
- exchanged GIS datasets with NRW relating to interventions on NRW land;
- grouped the proposals into themes based on the type of intervention and likely funding streams;
- prepared an Action Plan for the interventions, agreeing the ‘lead’ and ‘support’ for delivery phase.
This study provides a deliverable and ambitious set of proposals to facilitate a sustainable and collaborative approach to landscape management and public access. The landscape architects and CCBC believe this landscape-led approach is an exemplar for sustainable landscape management in South Wales.
The assessment of the options using the SMNR criteria in Welsh Government Policy provides a robust evidence base. It is designed for practical use and application to provide meaningful benefit to people, landscape, heritage and ecology.
The WBFGA is a driver for the wider benefits to health and wellbeing that access to landscape and nature brings. Its application along with the SMNR approach to a locally important landscape of 25km2 across multiple ownership is both ambitious and innovative. This project is a leader for the landscape scale application of SMNR and the use of ArcGIS Pro to articulate ideas in 3D to help the community to interpret the proposals. As landscape architects our collaborative approach developed a high degree of community and landowner buy in, resulting in a landscape managed in a collaborative and sustainable way to benefit biodiversity, heritage, and the wellbeing of residents and visitors through improved access to landscape and nature. A Community Ranger is employed to deliver the action plan, supported by CCBC and the community group.
This work highlights landscape architecture as the means to reconcile conflicting demands on the local landscape resource. It illustrates how the skills of the landscape profession can build a collaborative approach between stakeholders. Through the management of the landscape in a more proactive, sustainable and joined-up way, the study developed a collaborative approach, bringing together a diverse range of interests to reinforce landscape multi-functionality. Through the application of the SMNR approach and the WBFGA the study will create a landscape that is better connected to urban areas, particularly St. James which was ranked as the most deprived community in Wales in 2014. Conflicts between different user groups will also be reduced and the future-proofed management approach will create more resilient and multi-functional landscape.
Masterplan for Sustaining Caerphilly's Landscape
Caerphilly, South Wales
Masterplanning and urban design
Caerphilly County Borough Council
The brief for the commission was to create an overarching masterplan to inform the delivery and implementation of the ‘Sustaining Caerphilly’s Landscape’ project. The project is based on a landscape scale application of a Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR) approach. Funding for the masterplan and its implementation is coming from the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Management Scheme, part of the Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme.
Finalist, Landscape Institute Awards 2019
Client Team: Owen Ashton, Rural Development Programme (RDP) Manager, Caerphilly County Borough Council Phil Griffiths, Head of Countryside Services, Caerphilly County Borough Council WYG Team: Lee Morris CMLI, Project Director Louise Ball CMLI, Project Landscape Architect Emma Hays CMLI, Project Landscape Architect Tim Phillips MSc, project GIS consultant
Local planning authority or government body
Caerphilly County Borough Council
c. 2,500 ha