Whiting recently completed a unique installation of a public space only ten minutes’ drive from our headquarters in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. The 1,900 m² scheme was the former Bromsgrove Market Hall site, located on St. John’s Street in the town centre.
Designed by ONE Creative Environments on behalf of North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration and Bromsgrove District Council we worked alongside Kelbec Civil Engineers on the construction of the project. The Bird Box has since provided a valuable community area for Bromsgrove residents incorporating a stage, creative seating and open areas facilitating social distancing.
The Client’s requirement was to provide a space for “pop up” and mobile businesses, presenting opportunities and support for start ups, local entrepreneurs and small retail outlets short on internal space to serve customers while adhering to current Covid 19 directives.
Focusing very much on sustainability and innovation, The Bird Box initiative offered a unique set of challenges and involved the re-use and recycling of many of the existing materials already on site. The existing concrete platform was broken up to fill the gabion baskets and also utilised to back fill below the seating area. The installation of vertical artificial grass on the seating cubes and creation of large planters from metal crates incorporating two types of brick, also proved challenging.
Acer campestre, Tilia cordata and one prunus were planted to provide shade, interest and to assist in the absorption of carbon dioxide. Being good urban street trees they are tolerant of most soil types and thrive in a town centre environment so were selected for their suitability. Several bamboo were also installed to act as a shield from some of the surrounding buildings.
The Bird Box, named after a feature carved into many of the existing Bromsgrove shopfronts, has provided both our local community and local businesses with an innovative, fun and functional space and Whiting are very proud to have been involved in this special project.
Whiting were recently commissioned to carry out works at the historic Petwood Hotel in Lincolnshire. The hotel, famous for being the home of the legendary RAF 617 Dambusters squadron also has another claim to fame; the gardens were designed by Harold Peto in 1912.
A qualified architect and extensive traveller, Peto (1854 – 1933) created fine gardens in England and the South of France, mainly in the Italianate style. His best known gardens are Ilford Manor, Wiltshire; Buscot Park, Oxfordshire; West Dean House, Sussex and Llancullin, County Cork, Ireland.
Our brief was to help restore some of the original features designed by Peto. Works included the installation of a replica “Temple of Atalanta” copied from historical photographs and restoration of the “Long Walk” pathway, lined with shrub beds and a horley festoon. The scheme also featured the restoration of the original terracing and balustrade along with some new works to upgrade car parking and a new formal entrance.
The majority of the work is now complete but further restoration to this historic venue may be planned for the future.
A six hectare woodland delivered by Whiting and created with support from the local community, was officially opened in May in the presence of residents, parish councillors, National Forest representatives and project partners.
The launch of the Penny Wakefield Community Woodland to the east of Ellistown village in Leicestershire celebrates the culmination of a two year project that has seen developers, engineers, National Forest staff, environmental stakeholders and the local community working in partnership. The aim of the scheme has been to deliver an exceptional community asset that meets planning and engineering requirements for what has been a critical development and employment project.
The project faced many challenges, not least finding ways to integrate the objectives of replacing the trees and hedgerows lost to the development, creating new National Forest woodland and providing a structure to address drainage requirements for the new 1.4 m² warehouse buildings adjacent to the site. At the same time, the scheme needed to provide screening and a long-term sustainable woodland resource that would enhance the Ellistown community.
12,000 trees and shrubs were planted and 800m of access pathways installed, linking the woodland to the local community and the wider public access network. Bat, bird and owl boxes, numerous wildlife hibernacula, interpretation signs, a community orchard and wildlife sculptures were also installed and benches were created using the timber from trees that had to be felled on site.
Philip Metcalfe of The National Forest commented: “This project represents precisely the sort of scheme that we are trying to achieve in the Forest; a place where woodland can deliver habitat, access and landscape benefits to the communities on its doorstep.”
The local community, and in particular local councillor Keith Merrie and the Parish Council, have been involved throughout, supporting and challenging the project team to help shape and guide the scheme. The late Penny Wakefield was one of the councillors involved during the early discussions and it was felt that naming the woodland after her would be a fitting tribute and conclusion to the development. Penny is now celebrated on the site with a memorial plaque.
(Photographs courtesy of Darren Cresswell, copyright National Forest Company)
Client Urban & Civic are planning to deliver a high quality mixed use development in Cambridgeshire, blending an enterprise zone with over 700 acres of green open space.
One of the first areas to open to the public is the show home entrance for the first of the housing plots, and key to providing a high quality and established feel was the planting of semi mature tree stock. Along with 70 cm girth oaks and 90cm girth willows, three feature lime trees were planted at the entrance way. These Tilia platyphyllos had girths of between 110 and 120 cm and weighed in at around 8 tonne each. A 200 tonne crane was required to lift each of them into position.
The trees were transported to site on three articulated extra wide trailers.
Three 12 metre Thuja plicata ‘Excelsa’ were planted recently at a private residence in Central London by Whiting. Weighing 5 tons each they had to be lifted in using a special 16 ton heavy Manatu fork lift as access was restricted.
We were also instructed by the client to transplant a 9 metre Liquidamber styraciflua, which weighed in at 3 ton.
Despite traffic and access constraints everything went to plan and the installation was successfully completed within one day.
As part of the larger Alconbury development for Urban and Civic in Cambridgeshire Whiting were recently contracted to bulk up planting around what is to be the new site entrance. The Alconbury project as a whole includes new housing, a school, a business sector and green spaces but the Ermine Street scheme involved planting up the road side of the development.
Co ordinated jointly by Urban and Civic, the Local Authority and Whiting over 50 volunteers of all ages turned up to help, following the previous success of a community planting day three years ago.
Split into teams the volunteers were charged with digging holes, planting small trees and installing rabbit guards and by the end of the day in excess of 1,000 items had been planted.
We recently completed the design and construction of an enclosed Local Equipped Area for Play (LEAP) at the centre of Farndon Fields residential development, Market Harborough, Leicestershire for our client CJC Developments.
The project took approximately six months to carry out and initial works involved grading the site to the correct levels and installing suitable drainage.
The play area is enclosed by an ornamental bow top metal fence, 1.1m high, which has three pedestrian and one vehicular access points. Each pedestrian gate is self-closing.
There are ten stand alone pieces of play equipment for various age groups; each located within bespoke timber castellated circles. There are various surface finishes within each sphere, including safety sand, specialist play bark and impact play carpet. Each circular area is connected and accessed by self-binding gravel footpaths which are edged with timber board.
Various items of street furniture were also installed, including litter bins, cycle stands, hardwood timber benches, glacial boulders and picnic benches.
The surrounding areas within the fence line are turfed and planted with extra heavy standard trees and low level ornamental shrubs.
Farndon Road LEAP has been well received by residents and, situated at the heart of the development, has become a community focal point for those living there.
This year we completed landscaping works for Hitachi who have recently relocated their headquarters to the White Horse Business Park, Trowbridge, in Wiltshire.
Working for Midas Construction to a scheme designed by Landscape Architects MacGregor Smith, the brief comprised of the landscaping of extensive parking compounds and associated external works to develop the 6.5 acre site.
Our package of works consisted of cultivation and ground preparation; tree, shrub, swale and hedge planting; bark mulching; turfing and seeding.
The contract includes for the maintenance of the site for twelve months.
Over 650 trees have been planted at the London SIP and they frame the avenues and swales within this commercial Park. The infrastructure tree and hedge planting scheme was undertaken by us this year, as a specialist sub-contractor of VolkerFitzpatrick Limited. The trees have been planted early in the Park’s development to provide a robust landscape structure and attractive environment for those working within and visiting the Park.
The larger structure trees; Alder, Silver Birch, Beech and Lime are located in areas away from high level, overhead lines where there is plenty of growth space available.
The smaller tree species; Field Maple, White Birch, Hornbeam and Goat Willow are more widely planted across the park and as the trees mature they will be maintained at a height below the required cable clearance zone as stipulated by the power and utility providers.
In accordance with the Landscape Architect’s recommendations, from circa 2018, qualified arboriculturists will be appointed to review and help maintain the trees within specified areas of the Park.
Barry Chinn Associates, Chartered Landscape Architects of Southam, Warwickshire, supervised the implementation of the landscape scheme as members of the design team for the London SIP.