NW Cambridge Development
Early last year we started landscaping operations at the NW Cambridge Development Project. This is a University of Cambridge development that is planning for the future growth of the University by building over 1,500 homes for University and College staff, accommodation for 2,000 postgraduates, 100,000 sqm of academic and research and development space, community facilities such as a primary school, community centre, health centre, supermarket, local shops, and a hotel.
The site is being built in eight phases stretching over 10 years with open public spaces featuring high in the University's plans. Phase 1 of the development, where we are involved, includes informal open land in the western edge of the development, representing a major piece of the new parkland. The landform of the western edge is being established by using material excavated across this Phase. The western edge will continue to be developed as the arisings from the site are used in future Phases to establish land form between the M11 and the development edge.
The site is so large that we have split the areas into 5 regions Landscape Central, North, East, South and West. The generous amount of green space across the development site is extensive and aside from the Olympic Park, there are few recent landscaping projects of a similar scale. Over 2,400 trees will be planted by the time the first phase of the development is completed in 2017. There are over 24 hectares of open space in Phase 1, and over 65 hectares in the entire development.
July 2015 we planted the first trees in the Landscape East area, part of the site off Huntingdon Road. Carefully selected Lime trees were planted to line the central reservation of the new road that will be the gateway into the new development. These trees are part of a site-wide landscaping strategy that seeks to nurture a strong sense of place, making use of some of the existing and new trees and hedgerows that will add layers of maturity to the landscape of the new neighbourhood.
Along with profiling the landscaping areas we have installed the sport pitches and cricket outfields which again are located in Landscape East of the site. The size of the site and the continuing installation works requires careful maintenance for the short and long term.
Therefore we have employed a head gardener and a team which includes an apprentice, to ensure the quality of the installation is cared for and maintained at the highest standard. This has proved very successful as recently the Development awarded the team GOLD Quality Award certificates for best quality workmanship for the cricket wicket and pitch.