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Sherborne, Dorset

James Blake Associates was commissioned to create beautiful, sustainable, bio-diverse landscaping for this much considered new housing development; landscaping that was sympathetic to the historic, local town, and to it its highly respected natural surroundings.

Christopher Trollope, Bovis’ Landscape Architect, remained committed to every stage of works.  His dedication to deliver the stunning result we now have, is commendable.  We’re keen to shout about this project considering the negativity which housing developers are sometimes faced with.  Here is an antidote to that.

JBA retained existing trees and hedgerows – one of the many sustainable elements of this project that heralded good value for the client, and which helps raise the value of the properties due to enhanced aesthetics, not forgetting the health benefits.

Strips of soft landscape were created in front of the houses replicating English historic villages.  We created individual plot landscaping depending on the type of house, i.e. formal box hedging, colour, texture and interest with evergreen deciduous trees for screening, and to encourage nesting birds.

We created a natural play area, again totally sympathetic to the space, using logs and rocks for children to clamber over, hide behind, jump off, touch and feel.  This is an inspiring place to be, it triggers the imagination for all ages, and the intention of the planting is to bring calm and peace for its residents.  The design is such that it benefits mental health and physical well-being.

 At JBA our mission statement is ‘together we make a difference by creating greener places and brighter futures’, and this is exactly what we have done at Sherborne, thanks to the diligence and commitment from Bovis.  The site is awash with successful wildflower planting that will continue to bloom each year due to the experienced planting, and the promised commitment to manage its low-maintenance care.

 Aside from the wildflower meadows, we also created softening to the noise attenuation fence which was achieved using native buffer planting.  Not only does this dissipate noise from the nearby main road, it softens the view and encourages habitats to flourish.  The need for this fence has brought about the opportunity to create a green infrastructure element that would not have been put in place otherwise.   Where there have been constraints, JBA has treated them as opportunities to increase biodiversity in the area.

We increased the length of the ecotone boundary between one habitat and another by implementing a sinuous design. These boundaries merge with the adjoining fields in order to further blend the development with its surrounding natural landscape.  We also planted native trees such as pine, field maple, and hornbeam.

One of the defining features of the development is the pond at the centre of the development which is the SUDS part of the project.  Whereas most developments might give little thought to the appearance of this, JBA worked with Bovis to make this a stunning, tranquil, habitat creating, inclusive focal point.  We hope residents will be drawn to this area, as somewhere to relax, discover nature, contemplate and ultimately improve their well-being.

This project is a lush, verdant green landscape, intriguing, inspiring, life-giving and life-enhancing.  It is a pleasure to be here, let alone live here.  We wholeheartedly believe this mindful project is a blueprint for future housing developments.



Bovis Homes

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Play Area by James Blake Associates
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Case Studies