27 January 2022

Anastasia wins LDA Design bursary for Kittiwake project

First year MA Landscape Architecture student Anastasia Starkey has been awarded £1000 and the opportunity of a paid work placement at LDA Design for her project, which aims to integrate endangered Kittiwakes back into Newcastle’s waterfront.

MA Landscape Architecture student Anastasia Starkey's winning entry
Anastasia's winning entry aims to integrate Kittiwakes and people along the Newcastle coastline

Anastasia, who will take up her work placement in summer 2022, was one of only five students nationally to receive the award from the multi-disciplinary practice.  

Her project, Valley of the Birds, aims to redress the effects of anti-bird netting and habitat loss, that have helped contribute to a 60% fall in Kittiwake numbers in Tyneside, Gateshead and Newcastle since 1986.

I hope that winning this award as a first year MA student will inspire others to put themselves out there and believe in their own work!

Anastasia Starkey

MA Landscape Architecture

“Birds are a key part of our ecosystem and with climate change threatening their habitats and food sources, it is necessary that we protect and conserve our local birds, especially in our urban environment,” said Anastasia.

“This design proposes to safely integrate the endangered and displaced Kittiwakes back into Newcastle’s waterfront and connect people with water and birds.”

Anastasia’s winning design includes a man-made Kittiwake wall with ledges for nesting and a series of boardwalks, creating an immersive trail for visitors.

MA Landscape Architecture student Anastasia Starkey
Anastasia is in her first year studying MA Landscape Architecture

She credits her focus on the site’s topography as helping her scoop the prize, attributing her understanding to Thom White’s teaching.

“I worked a lot with the site's topography and felt that a dramatic and bold change to the site, by creating a cliff face, would not only provide excellent habitat for the Kittiwakes, but an exciting experience for people.”

“I would like to thank Thom White for his lectures and seminars on topography. These were really engaging and really helped me understand the subject.”

Despite only being three months into her Masters course when she submitted her entry, Anastasia says the encouragement of tutors gave her confidence.

MA Landscape Architecture student Anastasia Starkey's winning entry

“I think the overall quality and content of the MA course so far has been great and the encouragement to participate in competitions is so inspiring.

"I hope that winning this award as a first year MA student, with hardly any experience of Landscape Architecture, will inspire others to put themselves out there and believe in their own work!"

“Honestly, I could not believe it when I won! I’ve never entered anything like this before so had no idea what to expect, but I am very grateful to have won and I am really looking forward to working with LDA Design in the future. Roll on the summer!”