A LOCAL business is leading the charge in changing the way planners, developers and landowners approach the need for better green spaces.
Alcester-based Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants started out as a part-time ‘lifestyle’ business for a local authority tree officer but ten years on is now one of the biggest tree consultancies in the UK.
The company, founded and headed by Peter Wharton, is a one-stop shop for land, tree and ecology advice, managing projects and developments for everyone from councils and planning departments to private estates, property owners, land managers, architects, schools and leisure destinations.
The focus is on viewing trees and green spaces not as obstacles in the planning process – but as assets.
“We’re definitely not tree-huggers, and that’s important,” said 36-year-old Peter.
“We believe there’s a fine balance between appropriate tree retention and the need for development.
“It’s not about enabling old trees to be removed to make way for a new development and re-planting in a new area.
“But we are realists – and sometimes a tree does have to go.
“Trees are too often seen as additional, rather than fundamental, to good development and we’re working hard to change that, helping create green infrastructure that we can fit buildings into, rather than the other way around.”