A touchstone for natural design
At Churchman Thornhill Finch we are passionate believers in the benefits a natural setting can bring – we have a long history of harnessing the power of nature through design. So we were proud to see the award-winning South Gardens project featured in the government’s new National Design Guide,
As the guide notes, designing natural elements into new developments brings big benefits for people and planet – from enhancing biodiversity to improving quality of life. Landscapes with natural features can get people talking and moving – whether through sport, food production, or play - all while surrounded by the rich sounds and smells of nature.
Connecting to nature is a sensory experience that is about so much more than aesthetics; it fulfils a deep-rooted need in our psyche. If that sounds like a landscape architect trying to justify their job, there’s a growing body of evidence to back us up.
The University of Michigan recently published a paper which showed that spending just twenty minutes in a natural space can significantly reduce stress hormones like cortisol. What’s more, psychiatrists at the University of Heidelberg have found that there’s a particular type of nature that works best for mental health. As Andreas Meyer Lindenberg put it in a recent interview, “The most beneficial nature is the one that looks like the kind of nature that humans would have encountered during their early evolution”.
With the evidence mounting up, it seems our feathery, naturalistic woodland edge planting at South Gardens might be just what the doctor ordered…