Describe the importance of landscape design for glampsites
Landscape design can have a large impact on a glamping site as the surroundings play a key role in client experience. Clients come to experience the countryside and nature, and landscape design gives you the opportunity to enhance the natural environment around them.
In an ideal scenario, the natural landscape and setting would not need any work at all, after all we are trying to get away from man-made and manicured surroundings. These spots, however, can be hard to find and sometimes it’s difficult to get planning permission on them. If the surroundings are a little sparse, tame or visible, this is where landscape design can be invaluable.
It is important to give your clients as much privacy as possible, and using natural barriers and plant designs is the best way to do this. It is advisable to employ these methods in car parks as well as the main site for the same reasons.
When seeking planning permission, landscape design can be a valuable tool when negotiating the visual impact of a build, especially in the more sensitive areas.
Once you have picked a spot on your land, then you can begin to structure the layout of the site. Bear in mind the direction of the prevailing wind, especially in exposed areas and when using canvas structures. If there is a natural wind barrier that you can utilize, such as a hedge or trees, then do so, otherwise you may want to think about creating one
If your site is on a hillside and the ground is unsuitable to set up on, then you will need to think about creating a level platform to build upon. Before undertaking earthworks, it is important to remember that the ideal look and setting is a natural one, therefore working with the natural lines and contours of the ground is especially important. When cutting in and creating the area, be sure to avoid straight lines and square corners, and try to replicate what is already around you. If you are undertaking ground works then drainage and water run-off are also important elements to think about.
When it comes to orientation, think about what you can see from different part of each accommodation unit’s site. This also goes for others in close proximity. Ideally, they would be spaced as far apart as possible, however, if this is not possible, then landscaping can give the illusion of greater privacy.
Please give some simple ideas that could be achieved on a small to medium-sized budget
- If you do not have the luxury of lots of space, then an effective way to provide privacy is a planting plan using woody shrubs and trees. Earth barriers can also be used here.
- You can add in nice touches such as wild flowers and other native plants.
- Create an alternative space adjacent to your structure(s) for a fire pit and outdoor cooking space. People love this and it is low impact and cheap.
- Plant up some fruiting bushes and trees close to your site so your clients can forage with children and maybe even cook with some of the produce.
- A small kitchen herb border or herb spiral can be incorporated into your plant design for cooking on site.
Please give some more extravagant ideas that could be achieved on a larger budget
- Create a beautiful pathway to your retreat. This means the cars are now out of sight and mind, and it will add the element of surprise on arrival.
- Creating small outdoor swimming pools and paddling spots can be a great addition for summer, however, health and safety regulations must be carefully considered in this situation.
- Outdoor cooking, dining and even sleeping spaces can provide a unique experience.
- Having raised platforms and decks for your clients to use will keep them out of the mud. This can also create the perfect area for a hot tub or other unique touches.
- You can create earth platforms to elevate your site and harness views. However, in cases such as this, a good plant/tree design is even more necessary to hold the ground together and also fit in with the natural aesthetic. By creating these tiered levels, you can make your site more interesting and quirky.
Describe a project in which you have been involved
Recently, we undertook a project that involved a considerable amount of landscape work, adding extra accommodation in the form of glamping retreats to an existing farm house and pasture land. The vision for the property was for a venue space with accommodation for weddings and other outdoor events. The pasture land where our structures were installed is on quite a steep gradient, and it was necessary to dig in and create level platforms.
In addition to this, we created camping platforms for bell tents, as well as barbecue and fire pit spots that get sunset views. In order to provide this extra space, we have had to create four terraces on the land, but with a sympathetic approach to the existing contours. This will mean that when it grasses over it will have a natural looking finish.
We are currently building two wagons to be installed on the land. These will have all the facilities they need to be independent from the house, and will sleep up to six people. A plant/tree design will then follow the building work to help it sit in the landscape, and add to the aesthetics and biodiversity of the site.