Ecosystem Services

The use of plants to deliver ecological functions of use to mankind

The New Shrubscape

I’m working through a new approach to creating shrubscapes, shrub-meadows, woody meadows, shrub-prairies, or shrub-steppe (take your pick). This is a natural follow-on from my current work investigating coppiced landscapes (see previous article in menu, or link at bottom) and is a landscape method in its own right, but also a linkage mechanism between coppicescape

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The Root of it All

This article was published in Landscape Middle East magazine in January 2024. In light of the recent severe storms and floods in the UAE, I thought it would be timely to post this here. How we treat soil and irrigate trees has a big effect on how resilient trees are in resisting damage from such

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What are Ancient & Veteran Trees?

The UK is blessed with a relative abundance of trees classed as Ancient or Veteran when compared to most other countries and there is a growing awareness of their importance. Currently there is no automatic legal protection in place for them so we must raise awareness and look after these unique and valuable habitats. They

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Not just a Carbon Crisis

Why Water and Soil are just as Important. The world has become fixated on Carbon; emissions are the problem, so removal is the solution. This is, unfortunately, an over-simplification of the troubles we find ourselves in; we have Carbon-Tunnel Syndrome. We think we have to find a way to ‘fix’ the carbon problem, then all

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Coppice as an Urban Landscape (Eco)System

To create more vibrant, ecologically oriented urban landscapes, we need to change our perception of what landscapes are and how we manage them. Usually, maintenance is seen as a burden, when it should be appreciated as an asset, providing social and environment health and ecosystem services. A landscape ecosystem should not be a static thing,

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Summer Pruning the Woodland Garden

It’s August and the woodland edge garden has become a bit shady and dense; time for a bit of summer pruning. Multi-stem small trees like Corylus, Euonymus and Viburnum all throw up epicormic shoots and get congested, especially the hazel, whilst the understory plantings have finished flowering and look tall, bedraggled and invaded by the

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Deadwood Art as Ecological Expression

I find that more and more I want to connect to the essence of a place and express that through generating adaptive ecosystems, creating vibrant, healthy places full of life, with natural resilience and adaptability. A large part of the cycle of life is death and in an ecosystem that meads deadwood. If we want

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The Woodland Edge Garden

Of all the ecosystems out there, forests and woodland are possibly the most abundant and diverse. Think about it; we have a thin layer of soil on the surface of this planet and without foliage, nothing between us and the stars. Plants and especially trees, add layers in-between, build microclimates and nurture life. We should

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Update on Brownfield Site, Abu Dhabi

Some of you will know that I have been following the ups and downs of a brownfield site in Abu Dhabi, near the Corniche. I’ve written two articles on it already, one in 2018 and one earlier this year. Links to these are at the end of this post. I visited again last week, the

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Adaptive and Regenerative Landscapes

What is an adaptive landscape, how is it different from other forms of landscape? Is a regenerative landscape also different? Simply put, they are landscapes, either natural, man-made or modified, that demonstrate an ability to adapt, survive and thrive under current and future conditions. Adaptive and regenerative are both expressions of this statement, with some

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