News & Events: Looking forward

8 October Jellicoe, The Subconscious, Serpents And Postmodern Landscape by Tom Turner, guest speaker at The MERL, Reading, 12-1pm, (free event). Follow the trail of serpents from the Wirral to Hemel Hempstead New Town and beyond. For more information and booking

16 October Pioneering Women in Landscape Part 1 Kingston University 5-8pm

A number of us will have seen Susan Jellicoe’s photos in old landscape journals, as illustrations in a book, or Susan and Geoffrey Jellicoe’s Landscape of Man.She took photos wherever they travelled – in UK and overseas.We now have an opportunity to hear about some research into Susan’s photographic collection and what that tells us about her and her times.She was one of the pioneering women in UK landscape architecture.We will also hear about Brenda Colvin and the phenomenal range of projects she tackled, and from where she got her drive and self-belief.We have many pioneering women in landscape today and we will hear from Diana Armstrong Bell about her philosophy and ethos and some of the ground breaking work she has done.We are an unusual profession in that it is nearly fifty-fifty female-male.But Robert Holden will, through the facts and figures, demonstrate that we have a lot more pioneering to do to be truly equal.

This event is the first of a two part series on women in landscape architecture, and will be chaired by Karen Fitzsimon

Venue: Kingston University Department of Architecture and Landscape Knights Park Campus, KPNE4003, Atrium, Floor 4, New Extension,Grange Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2QJ

Please put the date in your diary, booking info coming shortly and we look forward to seeing you there.

View Pioneering women in landscape architecture Part 1

January 2020 Part 2 of Pioneering Women in Landscape will be a joint event with LI London Branch– info coming shortly.

FOLAR Oral History Project – Talking Matters

Our Oral History Project got off to a flying start with the appointment of researcher Marie Lagerwall to seek out and assess previous oral history work connected with UK based landscape professionals working in the British Isles and abroad.We know that some landscape related oral histories have been deposited with institutions such as the British Library and the Museum of English Rural Life (the MERL) but other oral history interviews may be held in less obvious places.

Marie writes: ‘Should you have participated in or know of oral history exercises relevant to this review, please feel free to contact: Marie Lagerwall, Freelance Researcher, FOLAR Oral History Project -”

Please get in touch with Marie if you think you can help with sourcing existing material.

Oral History Phase II is now underway as well.With the help of the MERL, who are custodians of the Landscape Institute archive, we have scoped the equipment and training we need to get started on creating new oral histories.Pilot interviews, as part of the training, will take place this summer.

Our ‘Telling Stories’ project will run in parallel with and use the oral history material, to tell landscape’s most exciting, memorable, seminal and world changing projects to the widest audience possible.

You can help in so many ways: do you want to hold a conversation with the UK’s most significant landscape practitioners?Then volunteer with FOLAR

Do you want to learn new skills in oral history – recording, editing, creating stories?Volunteer with FOLAR.

Good at the backroom stuff – cataloguing, transcribing, organising?Volunteer with FOLAR.

Contact Helen Neve, Oral History Project Lead ( for further information and details of how to get involved.

FOLAR's Past, Present & Future series of symposia.

FOLAR Annual Symposium

Landscape and Children: design for children’s play

Saturday 16 March 2019 at The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL), Reading

Scroll down for all 9 recordings

Introduction to Friends of the Landscape Archive at Reading
Annabel Downs, FOLAR chair
Introduction to Landscape and Children: design for children’s play
Chair: Adam White, President of Landscape Institute
Patrick Geddes on landscape architecture for children
Tom Turner
Learning through Landscapes: the first three decades
Carley Sefton, Chief Executive, Learning through Landscapes
Michael Brown and his work with children
Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr & Dr Amber Roberts, Manchester Metropolitan University
Adventure playgrounds for children
Nicola Butler, Chair of Trustees, Play England, Director Hackney Play Association,
Playing the streets, past present and future
Helen Woolley, Reader in Landscape Architecture and Society, University of Sheffield
Nature play and inclusive design
Andrée Davies, Davies White Landscape Architects
Natural, active childhoods
Jennette Emery-Wallis, Landscape architect, Director LUC

Oral History Project

Appointment of Researcher

The Friends of the Landscape Library and Archive at Reading (FOLAR) is dedicated to championing and encouraging the use of the landscape archive and library at Reading University both outside and within the Landscape Institute and to promoting the landscape profession to the widest contemporary audience.

FOLAR is commencing an Oral History project to record the rich heritage of the landscape professions’ elders,and disseminate this material in a number of ways and to a variety of audiences.

To underpin the development of this project, FOLAR wishes to appoint a researcher to undertake a review of landscape related oral history work carried out to date in the UK.Oral history is ‘the recording of people’s memories, experiences and opinions’ [1] and, for the purposes of this project, we are defining ‘landscape’ as relating to the work of landscape architect/landscape design professionals (who may or may not be members of the Landscape Institute) working in both urban/rural environments and in private and public space.

Specifically, the project will involve research into, and reporting on,the extent, scope, quality and quantity of any landscape related oral histories previously carried out in the UK, or overseas if relating to British landscape professionals.Research should concentrate on interviews with landscape professionals but any information, uncovered in the course of the project, on oral history work with clients, users, funders, or specific topics or sites,would also be welcome.

Information will be available from Reading University’s Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) - the holder of the Landscape Institute’s Library and Archive - and the Landscape Institute’s corporate records and papers, but other organisations, institutions, universities, museums, archives, professional bodies, charities, media etc will also need to be investigated to ensure a comprehensive level of coverage.

The final report will need to include:

  • Listing of landscape related oral history exercises, including summary of organisation responsible, scope, topic, content, speaker, interviewer,date of recording, length, medium used, condition, copyright, accessibility, availability of transcription, purpose (eg for book or TV) and other relevant information as appropriate
  • A full bibliography and list of organisations/individuals consulted
  • Listings of other contacts or organisations who may be useful to the future of the project - including any recommendations on organisations which may offer funding

The budget for this work is approximately £2,500.

Submissions should include the applicant’s cv, a methodology and scope for the project, timetable for delivery, likely project out puts and scoping of final report.The fee proposal to include a time based fee and expenses.

The submissions will be assessed on quality of approach and methodology, and value for money.

Proposals to be submitted by midnight on 9th December 2018.Any queries relating to this brief and or the project as a whole can be submitted up to and including 18th November 2018. Appointment of the successful candidate is likely to be made in early January 2019.

Submissions and queries should be sent to:

Helen Neve
FOLAR Oral History Project

1 Oral History Society,

2029 The Centenary of the Institute of Landscape Architects (now Landscape Institute)

The BIG event we are looking forward to is the Centenary of the Landscape Institute in 2029. It may be still over 10 years away but these year long celebrations require lots of thinking and planning to be successful. FOLAR intends to do all we can to help both the LI and MERL prepare for this significant moment in the landscape profession's history including building a history of the landscape (architecture) profession in the UK

Past FOLAR Events (2018)

FOLAR AGM & Talk at School of Architecture & Landscape, University of Greenwich
5 ways to interrogate, be inspired and learn from the landscape architecture drawings at MERL, University of Reading
Chair of Talk: Tony Edwards, FLI, landscape architect, Director of Place Design & Planning
Speakers: Guy Baxter, Associate Director (Archive Services), University of Reading, MERL; Marylla Hunt, landscape architect;Oliver Rock landscape architect, Senior Associate HTA; Colin Moore landscape architect; Karen Fitzsimon, landscape architect, horticulturalist and landscape historian.

2018 FOLAR Annual Symposium at MERL, University of Reading
British Agricultural Landscapes: past, present & post-BREXIT
Chair of Symposium: Merrick Denton-Thompson, FLI, President, Landscape Institute
Speakers: Prof. Adrian Phillips; Dr. Simon Mortimer, University of Reading; Paul Tiplady, FLI Craggatak Consulting; Kate Ahern, CMLI, Head of Landscape Planning, LUC; Duncan MacKay, Natural England; Dr. Andrew Clark, NFU Director of Policy.

Past FOLAR Events (2014-2017)

2017 FOLAR AGM/ Annual Seminar at MERL, University of Reading
Landscape Architecture & Management Education in the UK: past present and future
2016 FOLAR AGM/Study Session
New Towns, Landscape & Gordon Patterson - Celebrating mid 20C Design
2015 FOLAR AGM/Talks
Brenda Colvin and the Colvin & Moggridge practice; Archival issues relating to the Brenda Colvin Collection
2014 FOLAR Inaugural Meeting

Archived FOLAR Events

March 2016

Half day study session on' New Towns, Landscape & Gordon Patterson - Celebrating mid 20th C design'. Sadly, Gordon Patterson was unable to join FOLAR but otherwise the event was a huge success. There was a good turn out members and judging by the number of congratulatory emails that have come in since, the day was enjoyed by all.

Programme: Chair: Robert Holden 14.00 Landscape planning for London and the New Towns in the 1940s. Tom Turner,landscape architect & garden historian; 14.40 Housing, Traffic and Landscape – detailed urban planning in the New Towns. Elain Harwood, senior architectural advisor, Heritage England;15.10 Stevenage New Town & landscape architecture. GP's written answers delivered by Annabel Downs; 15.40 Landscape without boundaries Oliver Rock, HTA Design;16.10 New Town material from MERL's collections. Caroline Gould, deputy university archivist, University of Reading; 16.40 General Discussion; 17.00 Event close

October 2015

MERL and the Landscape Institute came together to organise a joint conference this year, combining the annual MERL lecture with the LI's Jellicoe lecture. Landscape architect, James Corner, best known for his work on the High Line in New York, gave the lecture. A full account of the day can be found on the MERL blog 'Our Country Lives'/Discovering the Landscape #20

March 2015

Talk on Brenda Colvin and her collection at MERL by Hal Moggridge, PPLI andCaroline Gould, Deputy University Archivist, University of Reading