Our Charter 

At LDA Design, we recognise the close links between climate, biodiversity decline, wellbeing, and social and economic inequality. In making great places, we understand that people are not separate from the natural world.


Employee ownership means everyone at LDA Design has a say in how our business is run, and take responsibility for its success. Employee ownership is about being part of something bigger than yourself. It is the ultimate expression of our faith in each other.

We see Our Charter as a call to action, to bring our best and most courageous selves to work. It sets out our commitment to what we hold dear and what is special about how we work. It describes our collaborative culture; the principles that guide us including our purpose and values; and how we engage with our clients and the wider world.

LDA Design’s shares are held by an Employee Ownership Trust. The job of the Trust is to promote and protect our long-term interests. This Charter provides the framework for the Trust to use, to measure business decisions against.

Download a copy of Our Charter or read on for our guiding principles and values. 


Our purpose 

We make great places and shape the world around us for the better. 

Fundamental to this is addressing the climate and nature crises, and working towards a more equitable and sustainable future. We have a firmly held belief in landscape as the essential building block of place.

As employee owners, we are resolute in upholding the values of LDA Design and meeting the needs of our clients. We respect each commission as an exercise in trust and, wherever possible, a catalyst for change. We think all the time about how things could be better.

We’re adventurous and ambitious and we know this takes spirit, hard work and energy. Our supportive and collaborative culture makes us distinct.

The power of landscape

Landscape, and its ability to connect people and place, is the principal tool by which we achieve our purpose.

The power of landscape to blaze new trails has never been stronger, or more necessary. We know it can create healthier, happier places, heal fragmented communities, and bring social value to new infrastructure.

We derive our meaning of landscape from old English, with land meaning home territory, or a place where people belong, and skeip meaning to make or create. This definition is alive with potential. It reveals how places can and should be planned and designed, and how lives can be improved.

It means we start with what people want and need, to create the most equitable, climate resilient and sociable environments.

Climate crisis

The world is at a tipping point. Transformational design thinking is needed.

As landscape architects, planners, masterplanners and environmental planners, we recognise the close links between climate, biodiversity decline, wellbeing, and social and economic inequality. In making great places, we recognise that people are not separate from the natural world.

We want every decision we make to be a step on the way to a zero carbon future. We identify the opportunities in every project to adapt to and mitigate climate breakdown.

We pursue a rigorous understanding of the issues, so that we can lead on the changes needed. We are bold in championing new practices that lead to more climate-conscious design and transform policy. Experience makes us hopeful.

Shared endeavour

LDA Design is made up of equals who bring a broad variety of skills, experience and expertise to running our business and our projects. We are both respectful of each other and responsible for each other.

We want everyone who works here to love it and feel valued. We are a wellbeing-first business. Commitment is important, but so too is life lived in the round. The business is managed in an inclusive way so that each one of us can thrive, and feel empowered to achieve mastery of our chosen discipline. We invest in individual development and progressive leadership to achieve this.

Our ‘one business’ culture ensures we share the work and the knowledge. The beauty of this culture is the way in which it fosters creativity and cross-pollinates between the studios. It maximises the strength, agility, and resilience of the business.

Working with our clients

We nurture strong and lasting relationships with clients who share our values and respect our purpose. We help them to realise their bold ambitions. 

We aim to do full justice to every project by finding solutions for our clients that are net positive – social, environmental and economic.

Our studios provide space and time for thinking. This enables us to provide the best service possible – courageous and experimental, one that is open to different ways of doing things.

We encourage our clients to have a positive impact on the world, making it a more sustainable, kinder and more inclusive place. We are relied on to provide the relevant market expertise, combined with a profound understanding of place. This is how we make a difference.


We are organised to make it easy for everyone’s voice to be heard in LDA Design. We are all encouraged to contribute to the strategic direction and development of the business.

In our work, we listen to the world around us. We know that understanding people’s hopes, aspirations and needs is crucial. We commit to listening carefully to everyone involved and affected, especially hard-to reach and vulnerable people.

We believe that inclusion is the cornerstone of a great project. We are guided by the collective intelligence of our team and the community.


Transparency builds trust, engenders respect and is highly motivating.

LDA Design is serious about having a culture that is as transparent and open as possible. As employee owners, we are encouraged to know the business well enough to make insightful contributions.

Transparency means people understanding the ‘why’ and having regular, clear updates on business performance. We all have the opportunity to share the vision and learn together from experience. We are also forgiving of each other where necessary.

There is great value from being transparent in the way we operate, not least that we recruit, promote and reward in a way that is free from bias.

Reward equitably

We have guiding principles for how our employee owners are rewarded.

The first principle is that we want to reward the collective effort towards LDA Design’s success, recognising that company prosperity and a good working environment come from shared endeavour.

The second is to reward in order to retain the best: employees who live our values and the one business culture, and make an exceptional contribution.

The third principle is transparency and fairness, which means having a clear process so that everyone knows how they can progress within the business and what to expect.

Everyone will share equally in the pot available for profit share. Healthy growth – at a speed and direction we feel comfortable with – is what creates these profits.

For more on our values, read Reaching Way Beyond the Ordinary

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