The last 30 years have seen a tide of interest sweeping across Europe in the development of nature in cities, and an increasing amount of landscape development in urban areas has involved the use of 'naturalistic' styles. This is an increasing attempt to find ways for urbanism and nature to co-exist. However, there have been considerable discussions among professionals regarding the advantages and disadvantages of 'naturalistic' styles in urban areas. This research examines professional attitudes to 'naturalistic' landscape styles in Britain, in contrast to more traditional, formal landscape styles, and aims to find out whether the interest in natural landscapes is really a fashion among landscape professionals. A self-administered postal survey was carried out using both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques and analysis. The survey included 500 professionals from parks and recreation departments of local authorities, private landscape practices and conservation trusts, and resulted in a satisfactory response rate of 53 %. The results of this study suggested that professionals recognise most of the values attached to naturalistic landscapes in urban areas. However, possible benefits that natural areas may have for urban people are not attached to naturalistic landscapes alone. The study also revealed that the naturalistic style is highly popular among conservation trusts but is less so among professionals from local authorities and private landscape practices who seem to appreciate both styles and believe that these styles are not separable from each other and should co-exist in an urban environment. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.