Colwyn Bay

Year of Completion: 2013 – ongoing

Client: Conwy County Borough Council

Project Team: BCA Landscape, Mott MacDonald

The Colwyn Bay Waterfront Project was initiated to address the poor condition of the existing coastal defences along the waterfront in Colwyn Bay, dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

BCAL were invited by engineers Mott Macdonald to join their coastal team working with Conwy County Borough Council in 2013 to provide public realm design as part of a £30million coastal storm defence scheme to provide long lasting and effective coastal protection for the town and its inhabitants.

The opportunity was taken to both protect the community and its infrastructure, and also enhance it, by creating a 3km stretch of the promenade from Splashpoint to Rhos-on-Sea that would attract both local residents and visitors. The works have provided a boost to the local economy, as well as multiple health and environmental benefits.

An extensive range of bespoke elements around health, active travel, sport, play, artwork, green infrastructure and biodiversity improvements have been delivered, with further phases in development for delivery in 2022.

A-Y of Manx

Year of Completion: 2013

Client: The Douglas development partnership, The department of infrastructure

Project Team: BCA Landscape

The A-Y of Manx is an artwork commissioned by Douglas Development Partnership, funded by the Town and Village Regeneration Scheme and driven forward by the Douglas Regeneration Committee. The artwork illustrates 24 subjects related to the Isle of Man, some of which are well-known and obvious such a “Manx Cats”, “TT” and “Kippers” and some which are a little more obscure such as the “Giant Elk” and “Ogham”.

The Natural Stone Awards, held once every two years, recognise excellence in the natural stone industry. The judges said:

‘The stonework brings brightness and light into the heart of the Island’s capital. The results are already lifting and enhancing the area, instilling pride and commitment across a diverse range of retailers’.

Liverpool Connectivity – Lime Street

Year of Completion: 2022

Client: Liverpool City Council

Project Team: BCA Landscape | AMEY 


Liverpool Lime Street is considered the gateway to Liverpool, greeted by a confusing labyrinth of roads which are both difficult and dangerous to cross. The project aimed to resolve this issue by reorganising the way people move about the city with an emphasis on cycling, walking and trees.

Pedestrians and cyclists have been given greater priority and space whilst respecting the historical importance of the site. The scheme is surrounded by Grade I, II & II* listed buildings therefore a more conservative approach was required.

The project included over 30+ trees, 675m of segregated cycleways (linking to Liverpool’s wider cycle network), wider footpaths for safer pedestrian movements and encouragement of outdoor cafe seating. Reduced traffic signals/movement to improve the flow of traffic which in turn helps with air quality. New open public spaces for day to day activities as well as for larger public events which St Georges Hall is renowned for.

Forest Bathing Pod

Year of Completion: 2019

Budget: Under £10,000

Client: The Mersey Forest (Urban Greenup)

Design Team: BCA Landscape, Liverpool’s Royal Court Set Building Team

Researchers primarily in Japan and South Korea have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. Now their research is helping to establish shinrin-yoku and forest therapy throughout the world.

Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventative health care and healing in Japanese medicine.

This project aims to bring The Mersey Forest into the heart of the city and demonstrate the power of nature, our ‘Natural Health Service’, to provide an oasis of calm, an opportunity to catch our breath and our thoughts; ready for the day ahead.

The Mark 01# version of The Pop-up Forest Bathing Pod landed to rave reviews for two days in Williamson Square, Liverpool on 26-27th June 2019. Passers-by took a 10 minute break from their busy life schedules to experience for themselves the healing power of the infinite pop-up forest bathing pod.

Designed by BCA Landscape for The Mersey Forest as part of the wider Urban GreenUP Project, in conjunction with Liverpool City Council, The University of Liverpool and The Liverpool BID Company.

Built by the Royal Court set-building team and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Urban GreenUP project.

Stonyhurst College

Budget: £35,000

This peaceful retreat garden is a new and welcome addition to the historic grounds of the world renowned Stonyhurst College. Adjoining this is a restoration project of an early 19th century water mill which for decades had stood roofless and abandoned until it’s recent conversion to a religious education centre and retreat.

The journey is created through a series of connected spaces each having their own characteristics and purposes. It starts with a narrow lane with a glimpse of a sculpture through a slice in the hedge, signifying a path and a journey to be embarked upon. This then leads into a transition space with the use of simple shapes, symmetry and a grid of uniform trees is meant to cleanse the mind and prepare it for reflection. Through another gap in the boundary this route opens up into a large seating area with a square of pleached trees and a central focal point. Spaces are enclosed by sandstone walls and hedging to create an introspective sequence free from any external distractions. As you enter the final space of this series it opens up to a large meadow with a clear path cut through it and a bold backdrop of Wester Red Cedars.

Madagascar Play at Chester Zoo

Budget: £0.5m

Project Team: BCA Landscape, Handspring Design, Lanes Landscape, Timber Play

Having fun is no trivial pursuit. In fact, it’s crucial to our mental health and happiness. The project expands the variety and type of play offer that was previously in the zoo and encourages higher forms of imaginary and creative social play within a series of exciting and flexible spaces.

Through creative innovation and careful design consideration it combines and balances all the latest thinking and research in the realms of the psychology of play and communication friendly spaces, with the needs of the zoo and its staff and a fascinating and playful exploration of the wonderful island of Madagascar.

There are a number of key themes and objectives that run through the scheme, including :- the use of Natural materials and a need to create a deeper connection with nature, the creation of welcoming and innovative people niches – for kids, teenagers, adults, grandparents and families and a flexible landscape where children can manipulate their environment to suit their imagination.

“Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages. This is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate their own games and even invent their own rules.” – Can We Play? by David Elkind

The Voyage

Project Team: BCA Landscape, Smiling Wolf, Hardscape, Amey, Kings Construction

Awards: D&Ad 2018

This epic scaled stone seat over 50m long [160ft] – stretching the full length of the Cunard building – was opened by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Roz Gladden and the Captain of Queen Elizabeth, Inger Klein Olsen (first ever female captain of a Cunard ship).

The seat is inset with ‘The Voyage’ – a specially designed piece of artwork with beautiful and unique bronze illustrations and typography inspired by the fascinating history of Cunard.

It is the stunning centre-piece of the newly completed public realm that provides a high quality landscape setting befitting the Grade II* listed Cunard Building, one of Liverpool’s world famous three Graces. From Nova Scotia to New York and the Mauretania to the Queen Mary; ‘The Voyage’ explores a company who had an immeasurable impact on the city’s culture and its people.

“I remember her dazzling speed and the graceful way she would lean over into the zigzags to frustrate the undersea wolf packs.” – Paul Gallico writing about the Queen Mary during the second World War

A Record of Lancaster

Budget: £125,000

Project Team: BCA Landscape, Smiling Wolf, Placemarque

Awards: Landscape Institute Award 2015, The Planning & Placemaking Awards 2016

Set in a new stone ‘performance plinth’ in the City’s centre and a series of new way-finding monolith’s, ‘A Record of Lancaster’ celebrates the city’s beat; detailing nine narratives in bronze and stone from Lancaster’s past and present through an engaging visual time-line. The scheme creates high quality public spaces in which people want to linger, increasing dwell time to encourage commercial, social and cultural gains.

The concept also drove our visual approach. We treated the plinth like album cover art as stories became tracks, dates turned to running time and the top of the stone acted as a track listing. Each narrative was distilled into a series of bronze illustrations: ‘hidden treasures’; which depict moments in history which lead the viewer to find out more.

“They are not just functional but also excellent pieces of public art. I’ve been very pleased to see people stopping and using them regularly.” – Jerry North Chair of Lancaster Business Improvement District

Cockermouth Market Place

Budget: £1.2m

Project Team: BCA Landscape, Smiling Wolf

Awards: Landscape Institute Award 2009, Hard Landscape BALI Award 2009, NW Tourism Public Space Award (Shortlist 2009)

This Georgian Market Place in the ancient town of Cockermouth is re-enlivened with a high quality and pedestrian friendly approach.

Footpaths are widened, designated level crossing points, disabled parking and delivery bays are provided alongside existing trees. Artworks are incorporated into functional elements, bringing to light many details of Cockermouth’s past.

Each bollard, manhole cover, and some of the paving slabs tell local stories unearthed during extensive historical research, and conversations with local people. Regionally distinctive burgage-plot field patterns dictate how the paving is laid out. High-quality materials such as bronze, cast iron and natural stone reflect are used to enhance the historical setting of Market Place.

All the works have been developed sensitively within the context of the existing Conservation Area.