Minety Lake, Lower Mill Estate

Planning, landscape masterplanning and ecological surveys


The Lower Mill Estate


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



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 landscape masterplan accommodates 575 large units within a relatively small area focussed on the retained 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.

The Landmark Practice has worked as environmental consultant with LME for a number of years, providing integrated landscape design, ecology and planning skills to meet the challenging brief of meeting demand for high quality living without compromising wildlife.

The Estate’s enormous ecological resource is based on a series of lakes, wetlands and associated habitats that support a diverse ecology, including rare species such as nightingale. Estate masterplanning must therefore respect the fragility of sensitive species and habitats, and simultaneously deliver the highest quality design.

Landmark is working with internationally acclaimed architects to create one of the most unusual sustainable, award-winning developments in the UK.

Client Benefits

Strong top end sales, a great brand, a streamlined phased approach with timely planning consents.


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

Estate Manager, Lower Mill Estate