Scottish Coal is proposing a large-scale open-cast mining project at Poniel, to the north of Douglas, South Lanarkshire. Recognising that landscape restoration to current agricultural and plantation land-uses is no longer a sustainable approach, h + m were appointed to prepare a restoration plan for a major passive recreational resource for the local and wider community.
Primitive man raised artificial hills and arranged stones to leave his mark on the landscape. The French landscape tradition created heroically scaled land compositions of space and form whilst the English landscape school orchestrated routes through a site within a controlled landscape setting. These models form both the precedents and inspiration for the design approach. The design concept is based on the deliberate creation of a contemporary designed landscape, using creative landscape engineering to sculpt a series of vast earthwork features and restructuring planting to produce a dynamic and stimulating experience for visitors as they are led on a journey through the forest landscape.