Picture of family home beside a riverBy Andrew Tempany, Technical Director, Stephenson Halliday

“Nature has the answers” is more relevant than ever. Our disconnect from nature has reached a zenith that is unprecedented. Can we learn from history, particularly the best landscape practices of the past, to create the resilient, adapted landscapes that we and the planet urgently need?

I think we can.

There have already been positive shifts in policy and decision-making. We have long known of the benefits of nature: physical, metaphysical and mental, while all the time critically undervaluing it. Now, with the publication of the Dasgupta Review, nature-based planning, development and design are at last being talked about in step with growth and economic development. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals also provide a valuable framework for nature-based solutions, focusing on environment, resilience and equality.

Landscape, the framework for our lives and the setting for the ecosystem services that make life worth living, is at the centre of this conversation. Resilient, beautiful new landscapes can and should be informed by the best practices of the past. This supports George Monbiot’s challenge to the “shifting baseline” or a generation’s perception that somewhere they know and love has always been that way, with an associated resistance to change. Yet there are signs this perception is being reversed. Take rewilding and how it has captured the popular imagination. There is a real need to bring these ideas into the mainstream, to realise nature recovery networks at scale to benefit us all.

In a recent article published by RSK group, I explore five themes to support the creation of resilient environments. Read the full article here.

Lorna Nunwick : Graduate Landscape Architect

Stephenson Halliday are delighted to welcome Lorna Nunwick to our Wetherby office.

Lorna has recently graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BA honours degree in Landscape Architecture and Planning. An avid runner and climber, her passion for landscape and much of her design inspiration comes from exploring the Lakes and the Peak District.

As part of her degree Lorna worked on a range of projects varying from small scale planting schemes to a strategic master plan for a residential proposal on brownfield land in Sheffield City Centre. Volunteering in Heeley People’s Park, a community-run green space, also provided insight into place-making and ongoing landscape management.

As part of her first professional experience in private practice, Lorna will assist with LVIA, gaining expertise from the Stephenson Halliday team in the renewable energy sector; especially wind and solar. Recognising the value of all landscapes, Lorna hopes to contribute to a more sustainable future through a career in environmental planning.

Matt Thirsk: Senior Landscape Architect

Stephenson Halliday are delighted to welcome Matt to our Wetherby office to join our expanding Landscape team.

Matt’s previous experience includes work on flood alleviation schemes, landscape and river restoration projects, landscape character assessment and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) extension review. Prior to Matt becoming a Landscape Architect, he spent 10 years in the construction industry, including time as a landscape contractor.

Outside of work, Matt can typically be found working on some form of building project, either in the house or garden and, when time and family commitments allow, he enjoys running and general fitness.






Looking for your first professional post? Or the next step in your career? – How about joining our growing team?

Following a successful pipeline of work and recent acquisition by the RSK Group our planning team is expanding and we are looking for conscientious and ambitious Graduate/Development Planners able to support the delivery of projects.

The successful candidate will be working within a team of experienced planners providing project support. The role will provide experience of assisting in the preparation of planning applications for a wide variety of sectors including renewable energy (onshore wind and solar), minerals & waste, Infrastructure, and built development (residential and commercial property). You will also be expected to assist with fee proposals and marketing initiatives.

You will have, or be completing, a planning qualification with eligibility for MRTPI, you will have a good understanding of the planning system and a high standard of numeracy, literacy and IT skills. An ability to drive and access to your own transport would be advantageous. You will be a team player but able to self motivate and complete work in a timely manner to deadlines. As well as new graduates the role would also suit those with 1 or 2 years previous consultancy experience.

Stephenson Halliday offer a competitive remuneration package for the right candidate. Stephenson Halliday is an equal opportunities employer. Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK.

Interested? Email a covering letter, CV and your preferred office location to: or send your contact details for an informal initial discussion.

Stephenson Halliday recently joined forces with the RSK Group and with an exceptionally strong and diverse workload, we are seeking Principal/Senior Landscape Planners to join the landscape architecture team in our Kendal (Lake District), Glasgow and Edinburgh offices where we offer a friendly working environment and ongoing career development. We offer flexible working arrangements.

We are willing to consider applications from candidates at varying stages in their career. We would expect candidates to be a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute or exceptionally be working towards chartership but with significant demonstrable and relevant professional experience. The successful candidate will be able to work independently with minimum support, to liaise with senior individuals and to supervise and mentor others.

We are looking for a highly organised, dynamic and creative individuals with excellent written and graphic skills. Proficiency in InDesign, Photoshop, AutoCAD and GIS would be an advantage.

A significant proportion of our work is in landscape planning for a wide range of development proposals and candidates will be able demonstrate professional experience in this area of landscape practice. Applications from candidates with a keen interest in landscape planning (LVIA, EIA etc) are therefore especially encouraged.

Stephenson Halliday offer a competitive remuneration package for the right candidate. Stephenson Halliday is an equal opportunities employer. Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK.

For an informal discussion please contact Mark Evans (Assoc Director – Landscape) by sending an email to or by phone on 07827 810761.

Please apply by sending a covering letter and CV via email to:

Deadline for applications: 18th June 2021.

We are delighted to announce that Stephenson Halliday has joined forces with the RSK Group, a leading environmental, engineering and technical services business, strengthening the services and expertise of both firms.

Ken Halliday Stephenson Halliday Managing Director comments “This acquisition comes at a hugely exciting time for Stephenson Halliday as we celebrate our 20th year in business. We look forward to accelerating our growth plans over the coming years and exploring the existing opportunities that will arise as part of the RSK Group. We could not wish for a better partner than RSK.”

Read more…

Stephenson Halliday are delighted to welcome Debbie Holland who has joined our Planning Team. Debbie will be based in our Wetherby office as a Senior Planner and brings with her a wealth of planning experience gained through 16 years within the public sector in Development Management and Spatial Policy, with an external secondment as a Community Planner.

The experience gained in local planning authority dealing with a diverse range of planning applications and land use planning has provided Debbie with a robust planning project management background to offer her planning expertise to clients, in particular site feasibility and promotion.

In spatial Policy, recently part of an emerging local plan submission for examination, her role involved assessing the deliverability of sites to meet the districts spatial strategy, including sustainability appraisal assessments, developing strategic and local planning policies, and she has a strong customer focus from leading on the planning engagement local plan public consultations. Debbie also has experience in neighbourhood planning, duty to cooperate, soundness self-assessment, development viability, community infrastructure levy and analysing the performance of adopted policy.


This year marks Stephenson Halliday’s 20th year in business and our latest Newsletter discusses how we continue to grow through the appointment of highly regarded planning and landscape architecture talent.

We have been commissioned to produce yet another Minerals Safeguarding Report for a local client. We have been experiencing a recent increase in demand for our services in producing these reports (or Minerals Resource Assessments as they are also called). Part of the reason for this is that we are seeing such reports as being required to validate applications for planning permission.

So, if your non-mineral proposal falls within a Mineral Safeguarding Area you could probably do with some help. As a consultancy which has specialised in planning for minerals since its inception in 2001 we are well placed to assist. Using our expertise, we can assess the mineral resource within which your site is located and report on its suitability as a mineral resource and identify any likely constraints that could prevent its future utilisation to overcome concerns about mineral sterilisation.

Call Nick Edwards on 07748 184637.



Stephenson Halliday are delighted to start 2021 with the appointment of two new members of staff who join our expanding Planning Team.

Lizzie Spencer – Senior Planner
Lizzie has joined our Kendal office as Senior Planner, & has over 12 years’ experience working in the private & public sectors, including experience in New Zealand. Recently she has worked as Planning Officer for a local authority in Cumbria. This diverse experience has provided Lizzie with a detailed understanding of the interface between the regulatory system & commercial realities of planning practice, enabling her to deliver quality planning outputs, while leading projects & being part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Andrew Hutchison – Planner
Andrew joins as Planning Consultant in our Edinburgh Office. Andrew has a BSc (Hons) in Geography & a MSc in Regional & City Planning from the University of Glasgow. He has experience working on both major & minor applications including renewable & infrastructure developments, including S36 applications.

Contact Lizzie ( or Andrew ( to discuss how we can help achieve your planning outcomes.