Magnificent Milton of Leys, located to the south of Inverness, is one of our larger Scottish developments and its evolution is ongoing – in fact, it has been continually growing as a much-loved location for some years.
Comprising sixteen separate development phases, with the final one currently underway, it has its very own Primary School and supermarket.
A looping road accesses all the different stages of Milton of Leys, and extensive consultation, with consideration for all parties, was carried out at the planning stage to implement the best value and highest quality management of the infrastructure.
The immediate areas adjacent to this main route and the internal built-up areas receive fortnightly maintenance visits in the summer, with the more outlying areas benefitting from monthly visits.
There are also large areas of Meadow Grass around the development’s perimeters. As their main purpose is to encourage the proliferation of wildflowers, and give home and refuge to butterflies and other wildlife, they are only mown once every year in late autumn.
The developers’ Landscape Architects retained areas of mature and semi-mature woodlands as features and wildlife havens – they also act as natural screening between the various phases of construction.
These have been fortified with blocks and drifts of younger tree planting, also enhanced with larger individual amenity trees.
All of these woodlands are independently checked every year to make sure they are safe and to find out if they would benefit from extra care, such as respacing.
Meanwhile, traditional coppicing of the Willow species and extensive thinning of the younger areas, with removal of now redundant tree shelter protection, were undertaken earlier this spring.
For our younger residents there are three well maintained Play Areas. There is also a ‘kickpitch’ with goalposts.
Of course, health and safety is of paramount importance, so in addition to checking all of the equipment on every maintenance visit, quarterly audits are undertaken to European Standards, which encompasses British Standards (BS EN1176 / 78).
These are recorded by an expert consultant who is fully independent.
Another important part in the design of Milton of Leys is its SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems) infrastructure.
Made up of retention basins, open channels and roadside ditches, these are all interlinked via underground piping.
Their primary purpose is to deal with occasional incidences of continual heavy rainfall or snowmelt and help prevent the threat of flooding.
Constructed sympathetically into the landscape, they are checked on every visit and annually surveyed by specialist engineers.
An infrastructure of paths link up several of the phases and amenity landscaped areas, while at the northeastern end of Milton of Leys there is a loop path designed for dog walkers. This also offers viewpoints, giving fantastic vistas over the city. This has recently been enhanced with additional planting of broadleaves and conifers.
There are still some internal areas that have yet to be landscaped by the developers, and therefore have not yet been handed over for maintenance – this should be undertaken in the near future, as the final construction phases are completed.
Greenbelt’s Regional Operations Manager for Scotland Duncan Park says: “It has been a delight to be involved with the management of this extensive development.
“We’re really looking forward to the final phases being completed and the last of the infrastructure handed over.
“Meantime I’d like to personally wish Milton of Leys residents the very best as we look forward to a summer of sunshine and fantastic green spaces.”