Rotunda Community Campus

“The transformation of this fabulous country garden represents the regeneration of the community at large. This garden is a catalyst for the rejuvenation of Kirkdale – we’re breathing new life into the area and providing increased opportunities for young and old alike.”

Maxine Ennis, CEO of Rotunda

Project: Rotunda Community Campus

Year of Completion: 2015

Budget: £80,000

Client: Rotunda College

Project Team: BCA Landscape

Awards: Landscape Institute 2016, Echo Environment Awards

The Rotunda College in Liverpool provides community led and holistic solutions to local problems through a range of services and activities; which are accessed by approximately 2000 local people a year. Their programme delivers learner-led education and training which can engage and help the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in the community. On a piece of semi-derelict brownfield land adjacent to their main base in the heart of Kirkdale, Liverpool – the new campus has been designed to further the college’s objectives, providing opportunities for training and qualifications for garden volunteers; improving community links; enabling wheelchair-friendly access; incorporating a kitchen garden to link with the college’s cafe; whilst promoting the concept of growing and eating fresh fruit and vegetables.

Soft landscape: New planting includes – over 150 new native trees, over 1,000 Native Hedgerow species, more than 10,000 new Bulbs and woodland understorey plants and over 1,000 perennials and shrubs that are attractive to insects and pollinators. These include over 50 different species on the RHS ‘Pefect for Pollinaters’ plant list across all four seasons.

In addition to this there are over 50 new fruit trees along with vegetables, herbs and salads which are grown in the kitchen garden for the café and the community. Through this planting there has been an on-going community horticultural learning programme established.

Over 400 m2 of new native woodland has been created to explore, which includes up-cycled bird boxes, a willow tunnel, a natural reading area for kids and stepping stones through wooded glades. All this is designed to encourage a more positive interaction with nature. Additional soil that was needed for the creation of the site was re-cycled from a nearby construction site.

Hard landscape: Recycled stable tiles and yorkstone were reclaimed from a local salvage yard to create new hard standing areas. Upcycled furniture was made by Total Re-use, a company based in Skelmersdale, who base their work on the concept that the only way to achieve zero landfill is to find an alternative use for the things people no longer need. The total re-use items include the entrance gate and the Harvest table and benches (which is part of the wider programme to encourage positive healthy eating and lifestyles). The re-use extended to items already on site such as the existing railings which were retained and refurbished as well as excavation material which was used as new sub-base.