Joanne Mayneord, Senior Landscape Architect at Stephenson Halliday, an RSK group company, has recently been certified by Building with Nature as an Approved Assessor. We asked Joanne to tell us some more about the scheme and the value it gives to her work.
“Building with Nature is an industry leader when it comes to promoting holistic, people- and nature-based green infrastructure solutions. The challenge we face as environment professionals is getting clients and contractors on board and helping them to see not only the value of it for themselves, but also the value for everyone else involved.”
“I can see there’s growing interest from developers in being more environmentally conscious and seeing the necessity for delivering high-quality development that maximises all opportunities. Increasingly, developers are telling me they have started looking into making their developments carbon neutral and are aiming to do so by increasing woodland planting on their sites. I advise them that this is a great action to take and that they could do more if they design and manage sites in accordance with the Building with Nature Standards.”
On the training undertaken to become an Approved Assessor:
“The assessor training not only gave me an understanding of the characteristics of high-quality green infrastructure but also how to implement them. The course was grounded in reality and truly relevant. It did not portray a utopian or unrealistic vision of how the future should be, but actually understood the construction industry and the issues that may occur and offered solutions for these.”
“As a result of training to become an Approved Assessor, I can support a client’s project so that it meets the standards, assess schemes for compliance and facilitate an application for a Building with Nature Award.”
How will Building with Nature support future projects?
“I hope the Building with Nature scheme will be something that will work alongside biodiversity net gain (BNG) and other policy objectives designed to benefit wellbeing and wildlife, by providing a means of supporting its implementation, providing some of the ‘how’ to the BNG/nature-based policy in a collaborative way. It’s beginning to gain momentum, with a number of local planning authorities saying they’d ideally like developments that are submitted to planning to be compliant with the standards.”
And on the value offered to the wider environment as well as to clients:
“The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world (in the bottom 10% of all countries in terms of how much biodiversity still survives) and only has half its natural biodiversity left. Building with Nature can help clients understand how they can utilise best-practice green infrastructure solutions to deliver developments that are better for both people and nature.”
Congratulations to Joanne on achieving assessor status!