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the north east

North East England: Dynamic landscapes and people The North East England is a large region encompassing rural areas with classic stone-walled dales and moors, and echoes of past industry, the rugged coastline, and modern cities such as Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Sunderland, and Durham Ffion Llwyd-Jones reports


he North East landscaping industry is thriving and growing, a result of continuous adapting and changing to client’s needs, alongside honest hard work. Projects range from immense landscape regeneration and public-realm projects, to manor house and castle grounds’ redesign, and natural swimming pools. As varied as the projects, local challenges include sourcing trained staff, educating clients, the sometimeslong distances between projects – and the rain. STRONG ‘Business is strong in the North East at the moment,’ is the comment from Richard Kay, Chairman of Knaresboroughbased Green-tech. ‘2017 has been our busiest year and we’re on course to add 25% to last year’s turnover. We continue to expand our workforce, which has more than doubled over the last 4 years. An £8million regeneration programme, which includes urban landscaping, has started in two South East Leeds neighbourhoods, and we’ve just finished two

Ensata: recently completed eco-build natural pool


large motorway projects – the A1 upgrade and Bedale bypass ¬– supplying about 650,000 tree/shrub shelters.’ Business growth in the past 4 years has seen the number of designers increase from one to five for Lizzie Tulip Garden Design, based in North Yorkshire. ‘More money is being spent on gardens, and bigger projects. The business has expanded a lot, and we’ve got an exciting year ahead with public projects, and a spa, golf resort, and five very large manor house schemes,’ says Lizzie Tulip, a Chelsea Flower Show medal winner. She adds: ‘We’re working on a project at Stamford Bridge, which includes converting a stable block as part of a larger manor house, an orchard and former lawn gardens, and a courtyard garden and a walled garden, with some artist collaboration, and lovely water features. And a project near Harrogate involves a cloister garden, a bog garden, formal lawns, an orchard and a beautiful kitchen garden.’ Expansion to new offices is a sign of the growth at North Yorkshire-based Eves and Lewis. ‘We’ll also be looking to take on a new staff member later on this year, ‘ adds Karen Lewis, Partner. ‘We joined BALI earlier this year as part of our continuing mission to raise the profile of garden design and good quality landscaping in the North East.’ While Sarah Murch, Director at Ensata, in Doncaster comments that they have to go all over the country ‘because we just couldn’t exist if we built pools only in the North’, she adds that there is a definite increase in enquiries and projects in the North East. ‘East Yorkshire is particularly active at the moment,’ she says. ‘We see more interest in the North, around Leeds, Harrogate, York, and Cheshire – there’s more interest and an increase in enquiries – it’s looking good.’