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National Landscape Awards names Urban Forestry principal winners for community scheme designed by James Blake Associates

Award-winning community landscape scheme in East Anglia scoops a top prize in the largest awards ceremony in Europe by British Association of Landscape Industries

Award-winning contractor Urban Forestry
(Bury St Edmunds) Ltd was the winner of the principal award for a community scheme that was designed by UK Chartered practice of Landscape Architecture, James Blake Associates at a prestigious ceremony in Park Lane, London on Friday 1 December 2023. British Association of Landscape Industries’ landscaping awards and it is the largest of its kind in Europe, providing a spectacular celebratory ceremony showcasing the finest examples of landscaping excellence in the UK and overseas.

Urban Forestry (Bury St Edmunds) Ltd, the premier landscaping and tree work provider, submitted the scheme to BALI and has been recognised and rewarded for professional excellence in the Community and Schools Development project category. The exceptional landscape design by James Blake Associates focused on the transformational work to a recreational ground in Botesdale Suffolk in East Anglia. The collaborative results from Urban Forestry, James Blake Associates and the Botesdale Parish Council were designed to make a positive and long-lasting impact on the local community.

The integrated, environmentally sensitive design by landscape architects, James Blake Associates, utilises the entire public site in Suffolk to provide a range of features and facilities for the whole community. The design offers wide appeal including play and exploration features for toddlers, juniors and youth, alongside health, fitness and well-being equipment for all ages and abilities from young children to seniors. The design also recognises the need for quieter, more tranquil spots for people to enjoy and the regenerated Recreation Ground will also be a meeting and socialising hub for the area.

BALI Chief Executive, Wayne Grills, comments: “This fantastic achievement is testament to a very good scheme which has transformed an underused facility that attracted undesirable youths to a space fit for all age groups and families. Good project management and communication throughout the process of delivery between Urban Forestry, James Blake Associates and the client stakeholders resulted in the outcome everyone wanted to see. A strong scheme well-executed. Congratulations.”

James Blake, Chairman of multi-award-winning chartered UK landscape architect firm, says: “There are so many rewarding elements to successfully completing a community project and it is part of our ongoing mission to design and deliver greener, more sustainable schemes across the UK. It is always a real pleasure to work with councils nationwide to help make a difference to local communities and conservation alike.”

Botesdale Parish Councillor, Greg Russell, adds: ”James Blake Associates delivered a cleverly integrated design that innovatively met our Project Brief for the facilities. The scheme fulfils our community’s needs, aspirations, and environmental and ecological requirements.

A lot of thought and careful consideration was given to the detail of this scheme including access for all users via a system of pathways which are integrated with the play, health, fitness, and wellbeing features as well as linking to ecological features.

Thanks must go to James Blake Associates and Urban Forestry for the considerable drive and energy given to this project. The results are appreciated across our community not just now but for years to come.”

Adrian Rampley, Contracts Manager of Urban Forestry (Bury St Edmunds) Ltd, says: “Having worked with a huge range of commercial clients and architects over our long-established time as a landscaping & arboricultural firm, we really appreciate when we get the opportunity to work on a community scheme like Botesdale and with a company such as James Blake Associates. This latest award-winning scheme exemplifies how well we work together and what we can achieve. With a high level of communication and cooperation combined with sound expertise, consistency of service and delivery, we are pleased that together our projects achieve the desired effect.”