The Tees Estuary Recovering Nature Project (TERN) is a multi-partnership project that was formally launched in July 2023. It is one of twelve national nature recovery projects that have been funded by DEFRA and Natural England to take forward the objectives of the National Nature Recovery Network (NRN) and to demonstrate national delivery of the Environment Act (2021) at landscape-scale through habitat creation and enhancement, species recovery, carbon sequestration, improvements to access, clean air and water at landscape scale.
Landscape is an integral part of any conversation about sustainability, liveability, and/ resilience on Teesside because no matter how these terms are defined - nutrient and carbon neutrality, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, place-making, economic and industrial vitality, inclusivity or 'levelling up' - they require landscape solutions.
Landscape architecture will support the TERN partnership to utilise a range of specialist knowledges, skills, and techniques to help research, visualize, plan, deliver, and communicate our vision and subsequent projects.
We wish to develop our Nature Recovery Project based around the Tees Estuary and want to appoint contractors to deliver a pilot/ foundational landscape architecture project that will help us to:
• Undertake a detailed landscape assessment specific to the TERN project area to create a baseline, supported by existing NCA / LA assessments, plus GIS mapping and photographic images, which provides a clear analysis of the character of the landscape and its key features both natural and manmade.
• In consultation with partners and key stakeholders, help re-conceptualise a narrative and vision for the TERN area, aiming to co-create a strong identity for the area that reflects current and future place-making.
• Identify a series of highlighted design examples from existing exemplar landscape architecture projects that can provide set piece elements, interventions or details which align with the aims of, and could be drawn upon, by TERN.
It is expected that this pilot project's output will significantly influence the strategic direction of the TERN partnership, help in securing additional funding to realize our ambitions, and as a living document, will be open to addition and revision as the larger nature recovery project gains momentum. This larger project will use the materials produced in the pilot initiative to begin a wider conversation with local communities and industry alongside more in-depth consultation with partners. We expect it to inspire and inform the development of diverse initiatives linking people, nature and place, ranging for example, from the production of creative interpretation to the commission of new buildings and structures, or from the design of new access opportunities to novel and ecologically beneficial engagements with industry.