July 18, 2018

Merrick Denton-Thompson passes torch to Adam White at LI Presidents’ Reception


On 4 July 2018, the Landscape Institute welcomed its new president, Adam White, and thanked outgoing president Merrick Denton-Thompson OBE for his leadership and support.

On behalf of the Institute, the LI’s Head of External Affairs Poppy Smith thanked Merrick ‘for his time, energy, enthusiasm and wisdom, not just for the past two years, but a long time before that’.

Over 250 guests packed into the heart of the recently restored Garden Museum in Lambeth, London. The event was sponsored by CED Stone with Hillers Trees and Palmstead Nurseries generously turning the venue into a wild forest for the evening, filling the Nave with ten 6-metre high birch, field maple and small-leaved lime trees, and 300 wild garden perennial plants.

Adam believes time in nature is not a luxury, but in fact essential to a healthy society. As modern lives shift indoors, these ideas and answers are more urgent than ever. “We evolved in nature,” Adam said, “so it’s strange we are so disconnected from it. Everybody needs a good dose of Vitamin N once in a while if we are going to tackle ‘nature deficit disorder’ and ‘indooritis’.”

It was a fitting welcome for Adam White PLI, who hopes his presidency will promote the science behind what poets and philosophers have known for decades: place matters. He is keen to see the profession work to uncover and celebrate the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain.

Adam refers to nature deficit disorder in many of his presentations. Author Richard Louv defines it as: “What happens when people, particularly children, spend little or no time outside in natural environments, resulting in physical and mental problems, including anxiety and distraction.”

Those that know Adam will be aware how passionate he is about people, place and nature. He worked for the environmental charity Groundwork for 12 years as a principal landscape architect, and chaired Groundwork’s Federation of Landscape Architects Committee, at the time the largest employer of landscape architects in the UK.

In 2008 Adam and fellow landscape architect Andrée Davies established Davies White Ltd Landscape Architects. Throughout his career, Adam’s mission has been to reconnect communities with nature.

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