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Penny Wakefield Community Wood – creating a new public woodland

Community partnership in action


Whiting Landscape Ltd (WLL), a national leader in large formal landscaping schedules for development, commissioned Lockhart Garratt to design and implement a 6ha community woodland to act as a mitigation for a 30ha logistics development near Coalville in the National Forest. The two year project involved developers, engineers, National Forest staff, environmental stakeholders and the local community working in partnership.

The aim was to deliver an exceptional community asset that met planning and engineering requirements. The wood also needed to serve multiple purposes including the inclusion of three balancing lagoon voids in final land form to take surface water from the warehouse development, the incorporation of wet woodland into the voids to create a habitat and landscape feature and the inclusion of public access in the form of 3m surfaced paths contouring the high ground above the ponds. It also needed to provide screening and a long-term sustainable woodland resource that would enhance the local community.

Lockhart Garratt identified an obstacle to the work in the form of water-logged and compacted soil. In order to ensure good rooting of the woodland plants, we looked at all options for dealing with the wet soil, resulting in halting the project until weather conditions improved. This resulted in the plants having the ability to root deeply into the placed soils for good anchorage and good growth as the wood matures, providing an important resource for the local community.

Key Features

  • Clear communication with client and earthworks constructors identified and justified constraints
  • Lockhart Garratt worked in close partnership with the machine operators on the ground to practically deliver the desired result
  • Lockhart Garratt continue to work with WLL and the developer Mountpark on National Forest sites

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