The National Forest Company is seeking a design team to masterplan a 26km2 central area of the planned new woodland in central England
The winning team will first create a strategic vision for the zone, then draw up a more detailed study outlining a range of options to boost visitor numbers to the post-industrial area located between Stoke-on-Trent, Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham.
The Heart of the Forest district will form the centrepiece of the National Forest programme which, since the 1990s, has set out to transform a 520 km2 area of north Leicestershire, south Derbyshire and south-east Staffordshire into a new protected woodland with around nine million trees planted so far.
In its brief, the company describes the Heart of the Forest as ‘an area of around 10 square miles of former industrial landscape currently under restoration on the Leicestershire-Derbyshire border. The area has been subject to significant change over the previous 25 years from a working coalfield to an emerging visitor destination set within an establishing wooded landscape.
‘The masterplan will look to build on these achievements and set out how the next 25 years could see the area become an established and sustainable visitor destination, serving both residents and visitors, set within maturing woodlands. The evolution of the area will be based on the emerging National Forest ‘greenprint’ themes of creating a low carbon and sustainable economy, forming an environment resilient to climate change and the creation of a National Forest sense of place.’
The National Forest Company was founded as a not-for-profit organisation in 1995 to deliver on plans for a new 520 km2 woodland reconnecting the ancient forests of Needwood and Charnwood. It aims to reforest around one-third of the area through voluntary initiatives.
The Heart of the Forest area was formerly used for coal and clay workings and is close to the settlements of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Swadlincote and Measham.
Bids for the contract will be evaluated 30 per cent on experience, 30 per cent on methodology, 20 per cent on value for money, 10 per cent on quality of previous relevant work, and 10 per cent on ability to deliver the work on time.
The deadline for applications is 5pm, 3 February.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
The National Forest Company
Tel: 01283 554209