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Belfast & Newcastle: "Habitat by design"

About this event


To enable towns and cities to serve both nature and their citizens well, we need the correct policies and design standards. Many local authorities have biodiversity action plans, but there needs to be a collaborative approach and support across all departments to ensure that the ambition expressed in the plans is carried out in practice.

So, what should be the standards for building with nature? How do we ensure that trees and green and blue infrastructure are treated as an integral part of the overall urban infrastructure – a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’? How do we take Biodiversity Net Gain and Nature Based Solutions and implement them into design? This session explores some of these issues.

Key points

  • How do we incorporate natural and manmade habitats into urban designs?
  • What standards and best practice are available?
  • How have cities incorporated biodiversity action plans into the design of streetscapes?
  • How has conservation work created nett gains and species diversity in city environments?


  • Jane Findlay Director at Fira Landscape Ltd and President of Landscape Institute


  • Dr Gemma Jerome, Director at Building With Nature
  • Charles Snead Principle Policy Adviser at TfL (SuDS)
  • Lewis Deacon, Technical Director, Ecology, Environment and Sustainability, UK & Ireland at AECOM
  • Jenny Merriman, Associate Director, Natural Capital & Biodiversity at WSP

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
    Charles Snead

  • Team member
    NC T
    Nick Cairns MArketing Business Partner @ ACO Technologies

  • Team member
    Gemma Burley Civils + Infrastructure Marketing Manager @ ACO

  • Guest speaker
    Jenny Merriman Associate Director, Natural Capital & Biodiversity @ WSP

    Jenny is a Chartered Environmentalist and experienced practitioner with a history of working in consultancy and the conservation sector. Specialising in biodiversity conservation, natural capital and ecosystem services assessments. Jenny leads the natural capital and biodiversity team at WSP.

  • Guest speaker
    Lewis Deacon Technical Director, Ecology, Environment and Sustainability, UK & Ireland @ AECOM

    Lewis has 20 years’ experience in the ecological sector, comprised of consultancy experience in ecology, biodiversity and environmental management and academic experience post-degree, including lecturing, research, funding applications and publication in peer reviewed journals.

  • Team member
    Adam Cane Knowledge Manager @ ACO Technologies Plc

    Qualified Civil Engineer (BSc) with experience as a Highway and Bridge Engineer and Technical Sales Engineer for FEA engineering software. At ACO, he now uses this experience as the Knowledge Manager. Managing the Continued Professional Development portfolio and knowledge base for the company.

  • Guest speaker
    Gemma Jerome Director @ Building with Nature

    Gemma is an environmental planner specialising in the design and stewardship of green infrastructure. She recently co-chaired the British Standards Institute panel for the BNG standards, sits on the advisory group for the Natural England Green Infrastructure Standards.

  • Guest speaker
    Jane Findlay Director & President respectively @ Fira Landscape Ltd & Landscape Institute

    Jane Findlay is a Landscape Architect, president of LI and founding director of Fira. She is a masterplanner and designer with over 36 years’ experience. Jane is particularly experienced in the design of the healing landscape for healthcare and worked on large healthcare projects across the UK.

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