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From beyond the roots, Ground Control landscaping experts bring beauty, biodiversity, and long-term sustainability to the grounds of Avanti Grange Secondary School, Bishop's Stortford.


Ground Control was appointed to deliver the initial phase of natural enhancements to the grounds of the academy school in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire. Expertise in soft landscaping, biodiversity, and soil conservation has brought the car park, courtyard, and other outside spaces to life with carefully planned landscaping that will continue giving throughout the seasons.

Avanti Grange Secondary School

Soft Landscaping:

  • Planting wildflower seeds and plugs in the island beds of the school car park and other areas around the perimeter of the two-acre site.
  • Planting native trees, and shrubs throughout the two-acre site.
  • Maintaining onsite swales to improve drainage in the water beds created in the hard standing.


Value-added services:

  • Consulting on improving foundations for planting, giving the plants more chances to establish and regenerate, subsequently reducing the client's future maintenance costs.
  • Implementing these recommendations, adding nutrient-rich topsoil to the specification.


  • The delivery of the project was completed on behalf of The Avanti Schools Trust
  • Global Construction Specialist ISG Ltd contracted Ground Control as the Principal Landscaper.

Scope of Works:

Avanti Grange is a co-educational, non-faith secondary school. The majority of students that attend the school come from Bishop’s Stortford and the surrounding Hertfordshire villages. 

The estate, which opened in 2012, comprises modern, functional features such as paved parking areas, concrete hard standings, swales, and water beds.

Avanti Grange School entrance

The school has a strong focus on wellbeing and encouraging students to value their environment. This makes Ground Control an ideal partner to deliver the landscaping element of the project. Our expertise in biodiversity and nature-based design, adds vitality to the modern campus and encourages a positive learning environment and visitor experience. 

Soft Landscaping

Ground Control was contracted to deliver the soft landscaping across the site. This includes planting wildflowers in the hardstanding soil beds in the school car park, and planting native trees and shrubs across the campus.

Additional Landscaping Works: Bedding fertile topsoil

On initial inspection of the site, the Ground Control Contract Manager disclosed an issue with the quality of the existing soil which compounded sterile, structural subsoil and stoney clay.

If Ground Control had commenced work under the current specification, the results would have been disappointing with the seeds and shrubs potentially struggling to flourish, and an increased risk flooding. In this situation, the school is likely to incur higher landscaping and maintenance costs at the turn of each season.

Subsequently, the contract manager proposed an alternative specification that included the addition of nutrient-rich topsoil and a variation of seasonal wildflowers. This would enable the car park to benefit from self-sustaining nature and vegetation over the long term. It would massively enhance visual and environmental impact all year round and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.


The aesthetic value of the car park was instantly improved by the wildflower planting mix, designed for different seeds to flower throughout the year.

The newly planted native trees and shrubs complement the fresh, modern impression throughout the estate, create natural habitats for wildlife, help sequester carbon, and help manage excess surface water.

Adding topsoil to the specification has added value and longevity to the project, establishing a sustainable landscape that will keep producing natural beauty and biodiversity season by season, year on year. 

Wildflower meadow at Avanti Grange

The client thanked Ground Control for their honesty, integrity, and expert advice.

William Miller, Ground Control Contract Manager said: 

I am pleased that we could support ISG in creating a beautiful landscape that will keep blooming.
It would have been easy to accept the work knowing that regular maintenance would be required, almost guaranteeing us regular business.
 Instead, through effective communication and consultation, we have created a sustainable solution that will keep giving, year after year, bringing visual impact and well-being to the students, staff, and visitors, enhancing biodiversity gain, and reducing ongoing maintenance costs.
From beyond the roots, Ground Control landscaping experts bring beauty, biodiversity, and long-term sustainability to the grounds of Avanti Grange Secondary School, Bishop's Stortford.

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