Lovedon Fields

Lovedon Fields is a 50-home residential scheme that forms a new edge to the village of Kings Worthy in Hampshire.  From a single point of access off Lovedon Lane, the houses cluster around the upper part of the site around a triangular open space – the Grove.  An avenue, with houses on both sides, runs along the lower contours and re-defines the village edge against a new 4.6ha park.

The new park is a significant extension to Eversley Park and has been designed as a low key, ecological landscape with allotments, a bike track, running circuit, natural play area, wildflower grassland, and footpaths and enhanced boundary planting.

The project as a whole has been designed with local wildlife in mind.  New habitats and movement corridors are being created at varying scales within the park and housing areas; for birds, slow worms, bats, hedgehogs, invertebrates and swallows.  Bat boxes, bird boxes and bee bricks are incorporated into the brick walls of the houses.

The project was completed in 2020 and has recently been featured in RIBA publication ‘Building in Accordia’, was highly commended in the 2017 Landscape Institute awards for ‘Local Landscape Planning’ and has been shortlisted for a 2022 RIBA Award.

‘Housing is not meant to be the soloist in the orchestra.  If you want some richness, it is easier to have that in the landscape.’

— Isabel Allen, Design Director, HAB Housing

Landscape Strategy

The landscape design strategy for Lovedon Fields looks to create and maintain a landscape that provides a rich and stimulating environment for residents, park users and visitors, and one that respects the needs and aspirations of the wider community. The landscape is not considered as a cosmetic addition to the environment but an integrated part of the design, management and function of the development.

This is a landscape-led project with B|D appointed at early concept design stage to work in tandem with architects JPA to develop a holistic landscape strategy for this local landscape planning project.

Design Rationale

The public spaces within the development are multifunctional offering places to relax, play and socialise whilst providing hard working infiltration basins for periods of extreme rainfall. These public spaces will be planted with habitat rich species to encourage local wildlife building on the site’s rich ecology. Informal play and social interaction are prominent throughout the scheme with natural play elements, seating and a boules court located within the centre of the development whilst a more comprehensive natural play and picnic area is located on the boundary with Eversley Park offering children of various ages an opportunity to play and socialize and interact with the wider community.

The site has been planned to enhance the sense of home and encourage residents to participate in gardening with the inclusion of productive growing thresholds to the front boundary of each property planted with edible varieties. These growing gardens will create local pockets of useful and delightful landscape and along with the community allotments and orchard will promote healthy living in a social context relating back to the productive land use of the site and providing opportunities to develop community spirit further. A mix of specimen tree planting of various species, native hedgerow planting, shrubs, perennials, bulb and ecological grassland planting will further enhance the local landscape providing year round interest and essential habitat for wildlife.

At HAB we are interested in the edge condition, in sites that occupy the threshold between countryside and town.

So many towns and villages have wonderful historic centres but become increasingly anonymous and anodyne towards the settlement edge. Located between Kings Worthy and the South Downs National Park, the Lovedon Lane project offers an opportunity to turn this conundrum on its head. 

The challenge for B|D was to design a landscape that mediates between these two different conditions; to reconcile the untamed informality of the open countryside with the intimate domestic spaces which anchor private houses within the public realm. The result is both dense and free; richly-detailed and fine-tuned but also effortless and relaxed; a project that defines the town as being ‘of’ its glorious rural setting, rather than detached from its surroundings by faceless suburban sprawl.

— Isabel Allen, Design Director, HAB Housing

Data

Landscape Architects: BD landscape architects

Client: Wetland Wildlife Trust

Architects: Kay Elliott

Status: Completed in 2021

Project Location: Slimbridge – Gloucestershire

Design year: 2016-2019

Year Built: 2020

Client: HAB Housing

Design Architects: John Pardey Architects

Executive Architects: BBA

Engineers: Clarkebond

LVIA specialists: Landmark Practice

Main Contractors: HAB

Landscape Contractors: Hawksworth Garden Services

Groundworker: Renelec

Photos: Jim Stephenson, Pete Humphry

Metalco ArchInteligence

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