10 years of Fruit Routes – Loughborough University

“There’s something so simple and so powerfully celebratory about this project. I have no doubt that it will continue to prosper and grow for many years to come”

 – Jonathan Porritt CBE

BCA Landscape are proud to be associated with the Loughborough University ‘Fruit Routes’ – project a unique art installation made up of over 150 trees and other edible plants providing an enriched habitat for people, plants, insects and animals, as well as a location for cultural activities and outdoor learning.

The concept, developed through a collaboration between artist Anne-Marie Culhane, the University Sustainability Manager and BCA Landscape, was to plant fruit, nut trees and edible plants along footpaths and cycle paths across the university campus creating a spring snowfall of blossom and an autumnal abundance of fresh fruits and berries for harvesting, eating and distributing. 

Over the last 10 years the project has become a great example of a Living Lab project with partnerships in the Design School, School of the Arts and Architecture Schools and also brings in members of the local community to participate in University life.

The project was funded by the University Estates & Facilities Management Service in line with the Biodiversity Action Plan and is managed by the Sustainability Manager at Loughborough University. It began life as a proposal for RADAR’s Building Green season in 2010.

The first trees were planted in 2012 following plans, details and specifications prepared by BCA landscape.  From there it has gone from strength to strength thanks to exemplary maintenance and governance by the University.

Fruit Routes has been recognised as an award-winning project by the Guardian Higher Education Sustainability Award in 2014, was a finalist in the 2013 and 2019 Green Gowns awards for Social Responsibility and Benefitting Society categories. and a facilitated workshop at the 2013 EAUC Conference.  It was also awarded a highly commended in the Association of University Directors AUDE Reaching Higher category in 2019.

The University hosts an annual harvest event and campus apple ‘Bake-Off’ as part of this, providing recipes ideas, a fruit foraging map

The project has now been passed into the care of a Steering Group made up of staff, students and local people, which should ensure it’s continued contribution for future cohorts of staff and students at the University.

Find out more about the project here

Better Places Award

Liverpool Waterfront project shortlisted for national CIHT ‘Creating Better Places’ award

We are delighted to announce that our Liverpool City Centre Waterfront project: The Strand has been shortlisted for the CIHT Creating Better Places Award 2022

This has been a ground-breaking collaborative design project over the last few years with our friends at Amey Consulting and Liverpool City Council.

The winners of the category will be announced at the CIHT Awards Ceremony 2022 – taking place on the 7 September 2022 at the London Marriot Hotel.

This award recognises how outstanding design and implementation of schemes in our towns and cities improve the places around them and create places for people.

The panel have shortlisted exemplary schemes from across the country that enhance their neighbourhoods, integrate with communities and are inclusive. Considering transport planning, design, construction, sustainability, accessibility, safety and wellbeing, and climate action.

The Strand is at the epicentre of Liverpool’s renowned waterfront, surrounded by Grade II* listed buildings including the Liver Building, part of the iconic ‘Three Graces’

The regeneration scheme exemplifies the very best of green infrastructure projects, providing a new sustainable urban drainage system with on-going data analysis for storm waterflow, water filtration and air quality by Liverpool University, keeping us connected via safer walkways, new pedestrian squares, segregated cycle lanes and introducing large canopies of trees and celebrating the city’s heritage.

The project contributes to the mitigation of climate change risks, increases the resilience to climate change effects, improves health and well-being and improves air quality and biodiversity.

Find out more about the project here

Glade of Light Opens

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined families at the official opening of the Glade of Light memorial in Manchester today (10th May 2022).

The memorial has been created as a living memorial to those who lost their lives in the 22nd May 2017 terror attack at Manchester Arena. It also honours those who were seriously affected by the attack, as well as civic dignitaries.

The Glade of Light was conceived by BCA Landscape working in partnership with designers Smiling Wolf. Together, working closely with families, they have created a memorial which serves as a space for reflection and remembrance.

Shivani Gunawardana is a landscape architect at BCA Landscape; she said: “It has been an honour to be involved in the Glade of Light, and to help all of those affected by this tragedy as we imagine and realise this special place.

“Our design ideas have always come from a place of heart-felt respect and deep sympathy, with a design that centres around a halo of white marble featuring the names of the 22 victims set in bronze.

“We sincerely hope it becomes a special place where we can all briefly pause time, find a place of stillness and reflect a while.”

The opening event saw The Duke of Cambridge speak at a short ceremony, before he and the Duchess walked around the memorial. Speaking of their attendance Joanne Roney OBE, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, said: “We are honoured to be joined by their Royal Highnesses for the official opening of the Glade of Light. As we approach the fifth anniversary of the 22 May 2017 attack, the Glade of Light is a potent symbol of how Manchester will continue to hold those who lost their lives, and everyone who was affected by those terrible events, in our hearts. We will never forget them.”  

Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said: “The Glade of Light memorial is a permanent fixture in the heart of our city. While we remember those affected every single day, as we approach the fifth anniversary it will be particularly poignant as we come together to mark its official opening.” 

Find out more about the project here

Overhead Railway

A new stone and bronze interpretative celebration of Liverpool’s world famous Dockers Umbrella – designed by BCA Landscape – has just been craned in to place in the position of the original Overhead Railway Pier Head Station.

By 1880, Liverpool’s dock network was virtually complete. So too was the congestion along the Dock Road, as carriages, omnibuses, lorries, carts and drays all plied the route.

An elevated railway had been proposed as early as 1852 but came to nothing. In 1888 the Liverpool Overhead Railway Company was formed and the world’s first electric elevated railway opened along the waterfront in 1893. The new segregated waterfront cycleway will follow the old railway route.

Find out more about the project here

Princes Avenue wins

Princes Avenue wins LCR Culture & Creativity Award for Environmental Sustainability

Liverpool City Region is a thriving place for culture and creativity and the Combined Authority wants to celebrate this.  The winners of the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards were unveiled at a recent exciting online event.

Part of the Metro Mayor’s Percent for Culture initiative, the awards were created to recognise the value and power for change that the arts, cultural and creative sector can bring in reinforcing the City Region as one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live, work, study, visit or do business.

Part of the £50 million Better Roads initiative, this 1.1km long x 18m wide linear park repurposes the central verge of a tree lined boulevard with a new community square and extensive community led artworks and new cycle routes.

“I always like to say that the Liverpool City Region is the country’s cultural capital; that creativity is in our DNA and we’ve really seen that on full display during this past year. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our region has continually responded with imagination, creativity and generosity to keep us all connected and our spirits high.’

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram

“I’d like to thank everyone in the community who engaged in the design process. We’ve never done a highways scheme in this way before and the creativity of the L8 community shines out throughout the new artwork and public realm. They should all be very proud. They’ve created a stunning gateway into the city. The new cycle path is a great addition to our existing network and we’re now looking to see how it can be better connected to the waterfront, where another new permanent cycle path is being built along The Strand.”

Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet member for highways

Find out more about the project here

Link to the LCR Culture & Creativity Awards 2020…

Webinar series

BCAL on-site filming with Hardscape and Gilbertius Productions for the Landscape Institute’s Webinar series on ‘Green Infrastructure’ (Tuesday 13th April – 11am)

Celebrating how we as landscape architects can strive to mitigate climate change through nature based systems by re-naturizing urbanisation, green infrastructure, water interventions and non-technical interventions.

Two of our ground-breaking public realm projects have been selected ( The Strand on the Liverpool Waterfront and Tower Road on the Wirral) to showcase how significant climate challenges can be tackled through sustainable urban drainage systems, intelligent traffic management, segregated cycleways and the planting of over 250 trees.

Click here to have more info and join the event this April…

The Return of…

www.forestbathingpod.com

Pop over to see the PopUP Forest

A PopUP Forest will appear between 10.30 – 4pm on Saturday 21 September 2019 as part of the International Weekend of Wellbeing in Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre offering the chance to experience the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing.

“We are trying to recreate the tranquillity of a forest for the busy urban environment” explains Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, “Each day it seems that there are more reports and studies to show how being close to nature and being in trees and woodlands in particular is good for own wellbeing. This is a chance to immerse in a forest, take a breath and gather thoughts for the day ahead.”

The PopUP Forest has been designed by Liverpool based BCA Landscape and is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Urban GreenUP project. BCA Landscape Director Andy Thomson commented, “We have taken our inspiration from the Japanese Forest Bathing ideas. The PopUP Forest reminds us that being in nature is good for us on many levels.” The specially selected trees are supplied by local nursey JA Jones & Sons of Southport, and the bathing pod built by the Royal Court Theatre set-building team.

Urban GreenUP is a five-year programme that aims to plant more trees, create green walls and habitats for pollinators. The programme is part of an international collaboration led by Cartif in Spain, with the City Council leading the local partnership with The Mersey Forest and the University of Liverpool. Planning has just been granted for a green wall at St. John’s Centre adjacent to Royal Court Theatre.

Liverpool City Council comment “The Urban GreenUP project is showing the value and benefit of greening our city centre. The PopUP Forest is an opportunity to explore some of the health benefits and also start the conversations about how we green our cities to improve health and make us resilient to climate change too.”

RIBA National Award

The iconic Wirral Met College on Wirral Waters has won a national architecture award only two months after winning a regional Royal Institute of British Architecture award (RIBA).

The 38,000 sq ft college campus, developed by Peel for the College, is located on the Birkenhead dockland at Wirral Waters, was designed by architect Glenn Howells Architects, with landscape architects, BCA Landscape and masterplanner Parkinson Inc.

“One of the most successful aspects of the building is the way it works within an excellent landscape scheme. The setting of the dockside has been fully exploited, yet this is not a normal UK design response. The absence of barriers to water was noticeable and combined with the lack of perimeter fencing the landscape is allowed to act as an outside space that people want to be in – not an enclosed car park. It was this final aspect that persuaded the judges that this could indeed be worthy of an award – the building and its landscape can act as a blueprint for an excellent minimum standard for future phases.” RIBA Judges comments.

Richard Mawdsley, Director of Development at Wirral Waters added, “It’s satisfying to receive recognition for our strategy, which has always been focused on placemaking. We want to create a sustainable place with a long term future, that has a real sense of social value, benefiting local people, developing skills for local people in the area.”

Find out more about the project here

Waterloo Goods Gateway

Realised in etched concrete with blasts of bright orange paint, the Waterloo Goods artwork stretches the entire length of Great Howard Street Bridge; creating a striking welcome to the city of Liverpool for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike.

The artwork takes its name from the Waterloo Goods line, the now defunct train line which ran below the bridge, a once key artery for the city as it carried goods from the thriving docks to the wider country.

Giant parrots sit side-by-side with local landmarks such as the Mersey Tunnel ventilation shafts and a 1950’s sugar silo – combining the exotic imports found at the dock with the architecture nearby, creating a unique and reverent homage to the cities dockland culture and spirit.

Designed by BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf for Liverpool City Council and implemented on site with Amey, Graham Construction and stone/concrete specialist Hardscape’

Find out more about the project here