Historic and designed landscape projects often pose the challenge of competing conservation objectives such as the potential conflict between nature conservation and heritage priorities. Creative resolution and balancing of these challenges is a core area of our work.

We work regularly with nationally and internationally significant historic landscapes and features including registered parks and gardens, registered battlefields, scheduled monuments, and listed buildings. We also undertake and review conservation area appraisals.

We are familiar with all associated legislation and have extensive experience in writing statements of significance and conservation/landscape management plans, as well as determining the role of setting in contributing to heritage significance. Our work at Castle Howard in Yorkshire won an RTPI Award (Heritage Category) in 2010.

Castle Howard Conservation Management Plan

AFA formed part of a team of consultants appointed by the Castle Howard Estate, Natural England and Historic England (formerly English Heritage) to prepare a comprehensive management plan for the whole estate. This work included research into the historic evolution of the landscape, landscape character assessment, development of a statement of significance and preparation of management policies aimed at conserving and enhancing heritage significance but also addressing the conservation deficit. The CMP won an RTPI Award in 2010, Heritage Category.

Castle Howard Avenue Landscape Management Plan

AFA led a team of consultants appointed by the Castle Howard Estate, Natural England and Historic England to prepare a landscape management plan for the main cruciform avenue at Castle Howard which forms one of the main designed landscape features conceived by Vanburgh in this Grade I Registered Park and Garden. Assessment included detailed arboricultural and ecological surveys, historical research and landscape assessment. Consideration was given to a range of management approaches from do nothing to clear fell. A detailed tailored management plan was developed and included an initiative to clone some of the oldest Hatfield lime trees in order to replant the avenue in subsequent years with identical stock.

Parkland Audit, Greensand Ridge, Bedfordshire

AFA was commissioned by The Greensand Ridge Landscape Partnership to undertake a consistent and systematic review of small to medium sized parks within the project area between Milton Keynes and Gamlingay, Bedfordshire. The physical extent of parklands in Bedfordshire is known to have reduced in size by over 50%. The audit looked at the contribution parkland made to local landscape character and assessed key issues and vulnerabilities. This was used to develop ideas for potential projects and initiatives for the Landscape Conservation Action Plan.