Mark Knight

WRF Landowner engagement partner

I am an experienced Chartered Landscape Architect, passionate environmentalist and landscape team leader at Groundwork Yorkshire.
I have been designing landscapes with local communities for over 30 years, helping to improve the spaces where people live, work and play.

I live near the top of the Pennines, next to the Calder Valley. On Boxing Day 2015 I witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by flooding in the valley bottom. The river and canal were breeched, several bridges were de-stabilised and thousands of homes and businesses were flooded. Ever since then, with every prolonged storm event, properties are repeatedly flooded and livelihoods affected.

Being involved in this exciting project, I have the opportunity along with landowners to design NFM projects that use nature-based techniques to protect livelihoods for communities further downstream.

Formed in 1981, as a ‘not-for-profit’ environmental regeneration charity, Groundwork works with local people and the public and private sector to bring about economic and social regeneration. We use the environment as a means of engaging people in their local area working towards a vision of a society of sustainable communities which are vibrant, healthy and safe, and which respect the environment and collectively prosper.

Groundwork is a founding member of the White Rose Forest partnership and has helped achieve its target of planting millions of trees in North and West Yorkshire, most recently planting 7,000 trees at the Brownlee Centre in Leeds.

In 2011, working with the Forestry Commission we designed the award-winning community woodlands at Moston Vale in North Manchester and LIVIA, Salford. Bringing our community engagement and landscape design skills together, we created a kilometre-long woodland and recreation route, transforming a former brownfield site to enhance the local neighbourhood.

I am a friendly and approachable landscape architect who enjoys providing planning and design advice to develop great relationships with landowners in my county. I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of NFM, using nature to slow the flow and improve water quality rather than expensive, heavily engineered, concrete structures that may need to be raised in the future and do not improve biodiversity.