Bowmans Cross, Hertsmere

We’re bringing a 'Park Living’ vision to London Colney. Our plans will enable a new 5,000 home community to live in harmony with its surroundings and an endangered tree sparrow colony.

We worked with Urban & Civic, Tatehindle on proposals for a potential new community of around 5,000 homes near London Colney in Hertfordshire. This project centred on bringing a ‘Park Living’ vision to life, while also working hard to protect a highly vulnerable tree sparrow colony.


Our Challenge

EDP were engaged to create a ‘landscape-led’ vision for the site based around the local context, which is rich in historic parklands and woodland. The new community needed to have its own distinct ‘sense of place’, separate to London Colney and Colney Heath, and become a truly inspirational place to live.

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The proximity of the M25, mineral extraction permissions and various commercial activities combined to create a number of environmental challenges to the project. The conservation of one of the last remaining tree sparrow colonies in the South East of England within the site also became a focus of the design response, as these rare birds are highly sensitive to disturbance.

Our Solution

We created a ‘park living’ vision which is focussed around the creation of ‘nature-led’ outdoor placemaking. This vision extends from doorstep food production, play and greenspace to expansive community spaces and hubs centred around natural features and linked through a rich variety of active, educational and seasonal trails.

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We achieved our aims by maintaining broad ‘natural pathways’ through the development, linking woodland, copses, ponds and grassland areas. We also created a wooded park to act as a buffer to the M25.

Our Extraordinary

To ensure we could protect the tree sparrow colony, EDP devised a strategy in collaboration with the Hertfordshire Bird Club to help the population to grow and expand into new territories away from the potential disturbance impacts of the future development.

This included creating new feeding and nesting stations in the wider landscape, monitoring and better understanding the birds feeding habits and habitat preferences, and educating local people through interpretation boards.

The tree sparrows have already discovered some of their new homes, and we hope this innovative conservation initiative will not only assist with mitigating any future development impacts, but also help to secure the future of this vulnerable species in Hertfordshire.


"My involvement on the Bowmans Cross project was to provide support in developing a Green Infrastructure (GI) focused vision for the site, termed ‘Park Living’. The concept had to overcome key constraints whilst also promoting sustainable living solutions. This was an opportunity to explore creative ways to present the concept through a mixture of visuals that contributed to a wider landscape strategy. The design freedom, flexibility and engagement with the design process at all levels has been instrumental in developing my own personal skillset. Support and guidance from senior members on the project helped improve technical knowledge."

- Matt Alebon - Consultant Masterplanner

Our core project team

Claire Haynes
Senior Ecologist
Fiona Mc Kenzie Sep22
Fiona McKenzie
Luke Tamblyn
Matthew Alebon
Senior Masterplanner
Rob Forbes
Associate Director