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We offer a full inception to completion design service, rooted in decades of experience, supported by a national framework of expertise and precedent. Groundwork specialise in community-led design. Our work is based on collaboration and facilitating co-design and implementation processes in order to develop high quality landscapes that meet local priorities and stand the test of time. All of our offices are registered with the Landscape Institute, we work to uphold the aims of the Institute to protect, conserve and enhance the natural environment for the public benefit.


Good concept design makes or breaks a project. It is here, early on, that we explore how the design will begin to take shape, and sets the tone as to how the design will develop. This is an exploratory process, driven by our creativity and experience, whilst encompassing both your understanding and energy for a great project. We want to create and discount different ideas until we find an approach that works for you and you stakeholders. Typically we will run engagement activities with different audiences both to test options, as well as find out what makes the site tick, how the space is used, and how we might refine our designs further. Designs are developed in conjunction with wider design team members or in consultation with important statutory consultees. We want to establish a clear direction of travel before we move on to more detailed designs.

This is where we get to know you and your project, and discuss your needs and aspirations. We will start to define our design brief, agree how we can best work with you and start to map out our scope. Often we will visit the site and make an initial assessment of the condition and specific factors that might influence how the project is to progress. We want to get a firm grip on what is possible and how we can make your project a success. We want to hear what your stakeholders think, and will agree an engagement plan with you that ensures our designs are responsive to local needs or specific requirements. We can discuss funding options, assess budget, programme and risks, and generally do all we can to get your project off to the best start.

When the design approach has been agreed, we will develop a detailed design that sets out clearly what the space will look like. We will specify materials, dimensions and construction methods that make the form, layout and appearance of the project clear and unambiguous. We work very closely with any other design team members to ensure that interfaces and connecting elements are both intuitive and add to the quality of the overall design. It is at this stage that consents such as planning permission are sought, and we have detailed discussions with any statutory consultees or interested parties. Of course, we also work very closely with you and your immediate stakeholders to ensure that design are clearly understood, and whether any adjustments are needed before these detailed designs are fixed.

We have been building better spaces for decades, and a core part of our business is overseeing the construction phase on your behalf. We will coordinate a tender process, and obtain and appraise tendered rates from high quality contractors. We can structure this process in accordance with any standards and workmanship that you require, and manage community engagement throughout the process. We will inspect the quality of works, organise site progress meetings, and certify that payments claimed by the contractor are appropriate. All of our projects are administered using construction industry standard Forms of contract such as the JCLI and JCT suite.

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