London is a famously green city: two-thirds of its area is open space. However in spite of the grand parks, natural woodlands and humble allotments, only a tiny fraction of us experience this other side of the city. London is also an increasingly crowded city; as we face the pressures of development, our daily connection with nature is under threat.
We have the opportunity to change this.
Sayes Court has inspired some of the greatest ideas in British landscape history – ideas which have shaped our parks, countryside and cities for nearly four centuries. From John Evelyn’s Sylva, the bestselling treatise on forest trees, to the founding of the National Trust, this small piece of land has had a profound influence on our national love affair with gardens and open space.
Now in the 21st Century, Sayes Court finds itself on the corner of one of the biggest development sites in London: the garden is uniquely placed to address two of the biggest challenges facing our cities:
How can local identity create a genuine sense of place and help these developments to form a valuable part of our community, and what role can urban landscape and horticulture play in making our cities happy, healthy places to live for the future?