A recent announcement by the British Association of Landscape Industries revealed that Ground Control has received five BALI Awards, including wins in two categories for Great Linford Manor Park.

    BALI awards are judged by a panel of acclaimed industry experts who demand the highest level of professional excellence and ensure winners represent the very best in landscape construction and design.

The five BALI award wins across four projects are:  

  • Great Linford Manor Park on behalf of the Parks Trust received the ‘Community and Schools Development’ award and the ‘Nature Conservation & Biodiversity Enhancement’ award.
  • Headstone Manor Recreational Ground on behalf of Harrow Council, received the ‘Nature Conservation & Biodiversity Enhancement’ award.
  • Sumpter Yard, St Albans Cathedral on behalf of The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans received the ‘Hard Landscaping Construction (Non-Domestic) – Under £500k’ award.
  • Marble Hill and Grotto, on behalf of English Heritage received the ‘Regeneration Scheme – Over £500k’ award.

Jason Knights, Managing Director, commented on this year's success:

This is a great achievement for Ground Control, and one that shows the incredible quality of our organisation and delivery teams. We have enjoyed working alongside some fantastic partners on these projects, and are proud to be recognised by BALI

Great Linford Manor Park

BALI Awards: ‘Community and Schools Development’ and ‘Nature Conservation & Biodiversity Enhancement’

Great Linford Manor Park is a unique site in Milton Keynes with a rich history stretching back to the Saxon times and historical features dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Working closely with The Parks Trust, the project aimed to 'Reveal, Revive & Restore' the park whilst also making it a more attractive and interesting place to visit.

Revealing and restoring works included significant wetland improvements, historical reinterpretations, and a series of soft landscaping to open the park to the public.

Reviving areas of the park involved the installation of a new playpark and upgrades to existing infrastructure and footpaths throughout the park to increase accessibility and park usage.

On the Community and Schools Development award, judges note a “very strong community engagement throughout the regeneration and restoration of this park”.

Commenting on the Nature Conservation & Biodiversity Enhancement award, judges commented that the works to regenerate park and ponds were  “excellent with good visible results” and it was “evident by the increase in biodiversity”.

Image of the completed water gardens
Photo courtesy of the Parks Trust

Headstone Manor Recreational Ground

BALI Award: ‘Nature Conservation & Biodiversity Enhancement'

Headstone Manor Recreational Ground is a 23-hectare park surrounding Headstone Manor and Museum. The grounds required major works as part of the River Crane Catchment Solution including a Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS), the creation of settlement ponds and wetlands, and the natural restoration of Yeading Brook. The project also included a significant park refurbishment to support the community and Scheduled Monument for years to come.

The award cited an “extensive and precise” ecology report with works that will go from “strength to strength”, and “how the culverts had been removed and opened up for the stream and how they encouraged wildlife and kids to play in too”.

Sumpter Yard, St Albans Cathedral

BALI Award: ‘Hard Landscaping Construction (Non-Domestic) – Under £500k’

Sumpter Yard is a busy public space and access route to the Cathedral which required hard landscaping works as part of the ‘Sumpter Yard Revived’ project to renovate pathways and to create spaces that complement the historical aesthetics. The works required intricate and detailed restoration of stone works as well as several enhancements to the sites.

Judges recognised the works and how they have "enhanced a tired landscape attracting more visitors to the site and increasing the aesthetics of the surroundings."

Marble Hill and Grotto

BALI Award: ‘Regeneration Scheme – Over 500k’

Built in the 1720s, Marble Hill is the last remaining historical villa along the banks of the River Thames. The site was acquired and renovated in the 1980s by English Heritage.

Today, the multi-phase project involved the restoration works of the House, Stable Block Café, and the Gardens with Ground Control appointed as the principal contractor. The focus of the works was to restore the historic layout with significant site preparations and extensive regenerative landscaping.

Judges recognised that the site is “a relaxing landscape to be present in” with works that “compliment the main feature of the grotto”.

BALI’s National Landscape Awards will take place in December, where each category will announce a ‘Grand Award’ winner, with all the Ground Control BALI winners eligible for this further award.


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