Lower Mill, Cotswolds

Leisure and Residential Development

Lower Mill, Cotswolds
Client: Habitat First Group
Services: Landscape Masterplanning, Landscape Design, Ecology & Planning

In terms of national awards for design excellence, speed of development and value of sales, the Lower Mill Estate is one of the most successful vacation homes enterprises in the UK.

The Estate development concept, which is simple and probably unique, is to provide luxury homes that allow owners to live close to wildlife.


In the 1950s and 60s gravel was extracted from beneath the estate farmland leaving a network of flooded workings amongst the remnant landscape of tree and hedgerow cover. The driving aspiration of Lower Mill Estate was to create ‘Britain’s first residential nature reserve’.

The Landmark Practice has been involved in the development strategy since 2006, providing landscape masterplanning, landscape design and ecological services to ensure timely delivery of the programme of high quality and environmentally sound development.

The landscape masterplan accommodates over 500 vacation homes built around existing water bodies. These lakes are now of high ecological value, represented by designation of some as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and others as nature reserves. The brownfield land has been excavated to create further lakes as a setting for a series of discrete villages. The design achieves a high density of development with a strong community ethos set within a striking natural landscape.

Lower Mill has been accredited with an Excellent Building with Nature Award recognising development that has delivered exemplary green infrastructure.


Client Benefits

The creation of an attractive, robust, biodiverse natural landscape.  Strong top end sales, a great brand, a streamlined phased approach with timely planning consents.

Working with:

Architects: Willmore Iles Architects
Civil Engineer: Stantec
Contractor: Conservation Builders
Ecology: Dr Phoebe Carter at Habitat First Group
Planning Consultant: Alder King

“The Landmark Practice are our environmental partners of choice. Since 2006 we have benefited from their ecology, landscape design and planning services. They are knowledgeable, experienced and evidently care deeply about what they do. They’ve been instrumental in helping us succeed in around 15 planning applications a year. Flexible and responsive, cost effective and easy to work with, this is a long term relationship that works for The Lower Mill Estate.”

Will Vicary

Managing Director, Habitat First Group

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