Please click here to view video footage of the new King's Quad. For further information about the courtyard which lies at the heart of Newcastle University click the link here.
Today marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's visit to Newcastle University where he received an honorary degree in 1967. The opening event of the new King's Quad designed as a setting for this new focal piece of artwork, also marks the completion of a project spanning almost 2 years and the culmination of a year-long programme of events commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Dr King's visit. The design team (Southern Green, Turner and Townsend, Howarth Lichfield Partnership, Kyoob and Maughan Reynolds Partnership) have delivered an extensive project including internal renovations and restoration, the creation of two new foyer spaces to the Armstrong Building, a new events space in the old Boiler House adjacent to the Student Forum, and the associated public realm design which links the various elements of the project.
The first phase of this £170m regeneration scheme is now fully occupied and the surrounding landscape including the phase 1 SUDS ponds are looking great. The second phase is well underway and includes the main linear park zone with various play features, walking routes and boardwalks which surround the phase 2 SUDS ponds.
We are pleased to announce that Wharton Park in Durham is to be recognised at this year's Landscape Institute Awards. Shortlisted in the Heritage and Conservation category, this city centre park has recently been restored thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Big Lottery and Durham County Council. Located on a high wooded promontory at the edge of the city, this unique park is terraced into the hillside with outstanding views towards the castle and cathedral and has been an important part of the city's heritage ever since it was gifted to the people of Durham by William Wharton in 1858.
Southern Green has been involved in this project since the very beginning, assisting Durham City Council with initial survey work and funding applications back in 2005, before a merger with the County Council saw the project temporarily suspended. The declining condition of the park made its restoration increasingly urgent, and we were delighted when Durham County Council asked us to help rekindle the project. At its lowest point in 2010, the park was in a seriously delapidated condition, and was facing the very real prospect of closure due to concerns about public safety. Grant funding of £2.45M was awarded by the HLF and Big Lottery and this, along with match funding from Durham County Council, paved the way for a £3M restoration of the park. As well as taking the project through all stages of the HLF process, Southern Green acted as lead consultant, lead landscape architect and contract administrators to oversee delivery of the project, which was completed in May 2016.
Works included the construction of a new Heritage Centre, providing a cafe, education space and WCs, two new play areas and the creation of a new community garden. The Listed Battery and Battlement Walk were fully restored, along with comprehensive repairs to the amphitheatre, stone retaining walls and steps. Footpaths throughout the park were resurfaced, with new street furniture and waymarking throughout and the park entrances were all given new prominence with the introduction of stone piers, gates and signage. The statue of Albert the Good was restored and a new timber sculpture of William Wharton, carved from a felled tree, now looks out over the city.
Wharton Park is the fourth project by Southern Green to be honoured by the Landscape Institute. The restoration of Ouseburn Park in Newcastle was Highly Commended in 2012, as was the Student Forum at Newcastle University in 2013. The restoration of Stewart Park in Middlesbrough was outright winner in the Heritage and Conservation category in 2013.
Southern Green is delighted to have been appointed by Newcastle City Council to prepare a design to create a welcoming gateway to the city where people can sit and relax, to provide an improved setting around the impressive George Stephenson Monument. The first phase is currently underway which involves installing a new paved area immediately outside of the Union Rooms and Vita Student buildings. This is due to be complete in November 2017. The second phase will commence in January 2018 and be completed in Spring/ Summer 2018.
With the project deadline looming, it's all hands on deck at the Armstrong Building, Newcastle University this week. Paving works are 80% complete and the planting of the large specimen trees is underway. This very exciting project has taken two years of hard work to this point and will complete and open within the next few weeks. Click here for more information about the project.
One of Southern Green's most interesting projects, 'Kynren' - an epic tale of England is the UK's only permanent open-air live show of its kind.
The show has a cast of more than 1000 local volunteers including our very own Sharon Lumb (associate at SG Ltd), who can be seen in one of the photos above ploughing with heavy horse in hand…Sharon was heavily involved with the creation of the show site and has personally planted many of the 3,000 trees across the site, with many more to come! In the first year more than 100,000 people visited Kynren to experience 2,000 years of British history, myth and legend set on a vast landscaped stage.
The fast-paced production is a spectacle of amazing special effects, water geysers, video projections, fireworks and a compelling sound-track. For more information about our involvement click here.
Southern Green is thrilled to have helped achieve £7.8m of Parks for People HLF funding in the last round of HLF announcements on 17 July 2017. Southern Green was Lead Consultant on two HLF Round 2 projects – The Canons, Mitcham for London Borough of Merton (£4.7m) and Pearson Park for Hull City Council (3.1m).
The Canons is an extraordinary site consisting of a great variety of important landscape and built features reflecting over 500 years. The site includes the remains of a moated medieval farmstead associated with the Southwark Priory, a 16th century dovecote, two Georgian mansions and remains of their gardens, as well as the site of the News of the World Sports Ground whilst today it includes a busy Leisure Centre at its heart. Southern Green prepared a coordinated design for the site that restores key historic features, enhances their settings whilst allowing for the inclusion of new facilities - cafe, toilets, play area and new square.
Pearson Park, established in 1860 by former Hull mayor and philanthropist Zachariah Charles Pearson, was one of the very first public parks in the country, following Birkenhead Park (1847) and People’s Park Halifax (1857). The registered park includes 7 listed buildings, some fine specimen trees and retains the character of the original layout designed by James Craig Niven, a botanist and curator at Kew Gardens. The main objective of the proposals was to restore the historic layout and features and also to reinstate key lost features such as the bandstand and bridge over the pond.
‘We are proud to have been associated with Southern Green Ltd Landscape Architects on the redevelopment of our two adventurous playgrounds. We set them a challenge to deliver us 2 play facilities with a WOW factor and without a doubt, they have delivered. The feedback from customers has and continues to be excellent. A milestone project in where play should be and expertly delivered by yourselves’
Alan Gough (Head of Community & Environmental Services, Watford Borough Council)
Harwoods Adventurous Play Site
This expansive playscape aims to push the boundaries of inclusive play design. The site will provide a wide range of risk and challenge. The site aims to encourage social interaction and will allow endless opportunities for less able and fully able children to challenge themselves as they play alongside each other. A unique set of play environments inspired by native woodland types define the character of each play zone. The contrasting play spaces aim to provide stimulating opportunities for informal and imaginative play as well as provide opportunities for play progression and increase repeat visits to the site. The site will provide many other exciting opportunities for inclusive play including access to the main tower unit via a fully accessible wobbly bridge. For more information and to see more photos click here
Harebreaks Adventurous Play Site
Southern Green were recently appointed as lead consultant to design and manage the implementation of two iconic destination play sites in Hertfordshire. The Harebreaks site is located on the fringe of Semi Ancient Woodland and is a registered nature reserve. The large play unit is nestled beneath the canopy of mature Oak trees which inspired the design. The play tower is 22 metres in length and totals 12 metres in height. Adventurers can ascend the unit by a climbing walls, bridges or via scramble nets. A netted area provides opportunities for quieter play, resting and relaxation. For more information including a time lapse video of the unit being built click here
Witton Gilbert Parish Council identified the requirement to create a village square through the development of their Parish Plan. The vision was to create a space in which people could meet informally and small events could be held adjacent to the busy village store. Southern Green Ltd were appointed to develop proposals from inception with the community and manage the works on site.
A large Neolithic Bronze Age cyst grave (cup-and-ring-marked block of sandstone) was unearthed Fulforth Farm in 1995 and this provided the inspiration the carved central stone floor piece. The paved area is defined by a low wall providing seating. Early inhabitants, agriculture and industries have influenced the design of the motifs on the sandstone blocks. Lush planting provides an attractive garden setting for the central paved area and bespoke seating, lighting and village notice board have been installed. In addition the project included laying new paths, tree works, planting and ecological enhancements.
Southern Green recently delivered the £3m restoration of Durham's Wharton Park on behalf of Durham County Council. The project received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Parks for People programme,
Judges felt the restoration had transformed the park into an attractive leisure facility for the 21st century while respecting its historic character. They said the vision, design, quality and execution of the work elevated it to outstanding.
As well as winning the 'built environment' and 'places and spaces' categories, the scheme was also given the 'outstanding' award which judges can give to an exemplary entry which far exceeds the category criteria.
Southern Green is delighted to have been appointed by South Tyneside Council to lead the HLF funded restoration of North Marine Park.
North Marine Park was laid out at the same time as its twin South Marine Park in the 1880’s to provide a formal recreational area for local people. The park has spectacular views over the mouth of the Tyne and is located a short distance from the seafront at South Shields as well as Arbeia Roman Fort. . Key proposals include the reinstatement of the grand steps and terrace, restoration of the grotto, the Pier Parade Boundary as well as enhancement works to the Lawe Top Promenade, development of a new play area, refurbishment of park buildings, new street furniture, interpretation and extensive soft landscaping works.
Southern Green will be developing design proposals and supporting documents for submission to HLF by the end of August 2017 and then, if successful, will oversee the restoration work which is planned to start in the summer of 2018.
Southern Green will be developing design proposals for submission to HLF by the end of February 2016 and then, if successful, will oversee the restoration work for completion in the summer of 2017, so that the park can play a part in the City’s UK City of Culture celebrations.
Southern Green is thrilled to have been appointed by Hull City Council to lead the HLF funded restoration of Pearson Park. This was Hull’s first public park, and was left in Trust in 1860 to the citizens of Hull by ship-owner Zachariah Charles Pearson. Shortly after this, Pearson became bankrupt due to a loss of ships that were attempting trade with the Confederate States during the United States Civil War.
The park is registered by Heritage England and was designed in a traditional early Victorian design, similar to Birkenhead Park and Central Park, New York, with open grassed areas punctuated by trees and shrubs and serpentine paths running around the periphery. Original features included a pond, an aviary, a bandstand, a conservatory and statues, many of which still remain. The park is encircled by a carriage drive and some grand villas, one of which was home to the poet Philip Larkin.
Southern Green is delighted to have been closely involved with Kynren from the outset including preparation of a Landscape, Visual and Heritage Assessment through to detailed design and close supervision on site.
For more information about our involvement in the project click here
Kynren is going to be the UK’s most spectacular open-air live action night show since the opening of the London 2012 Olympics opens in County Durham this summer. It is listed by Rough Guides as one of the world’s top 10 must-see tourist attractions to experience in 2016.
‘Kynren – an epic tale of England’ is an exciting family show, taking you on a spellbinding journey through British history. Taking place on a landscaped open airstage (equivalent to five football pitches with a full-size lake at its centre) against the backdrop of Auckland Castle, you will be immersed in 2,000 years of history, with a movie-like, fast-paced and action-packed journey from Roman times to the Second World War, through the Viking invasions, the splendour of the Tudors, the Industrial Revolution and the Roaring Twenties. As the story unfolds you’ll be treated to ships and a steam train, mass choreography, combat, dance, dazzling pyrotechnics and grandiose lighting and water effects.
For more information about the project and to book tickets click here
Southern Green are delighted to have been commissioned by Merton Council as lead consultant responsible for preparing the Conservation Plan and the Second Round HLF bid which is due for submission in December. The many challenges include improving entrances and access through the site as well as restoring the historic features and using them to unify the site and reinforce its special qualities.
For further information about the project click here
Southern Green is delighted to have been commissioned alongside Mawson Kerr Architects and Artis (Project Manager) in a scheme to reinvigorate the Bigg Market in Newcastle.
Based on concept designs the team was selected by NE1 from a competitive field of national and international teams to lead this Townscape Heritage bid to help secure funding for the transformation of the area.Southern Green will be focused on providing designs to refresh the market square so that it meets the needs of contemporary Newcastle while respecting its historical significance.
To read this weeks article in the Newcastle Chronicle click here
To read more about the design approach click here
We are delighted that the first phase of the Stephenson Quarter is now complete.
'how...amazing the landscaping looks....it is so stunning. Thank you.....for all your passion, determination, drive and enthusiasm. It's the area that makes me say WOW all the time. Well done brilliant people on a shoe-string'
Michelle Percy, Managing Director, Stephenson Hotel Ltd
For further information click here
Despite recent fire damage and prolonged building works to the adjacent chapel, the Garden of Tranquillity is now complete and blooming.
Northumberland County Council identified potential for the garden for use by the bereaved, before and after funerals and on returning to pay respects to departed relatives. The paving layout represents rays of sunshine, instilling a sense of hope set within carefully designed plant palette for different areas of the garden, combining both lush and vibrant colours and textures with softer and calmer shades all set against the backdrop of a yew hedge.
Bespoke hardwood street furniture including pergolas, three seats and bins combined with stone flagging and golden coloured resin bound surfacing combine to provide a high quality space for peace and quiet reflection. Poetry panels have been incorporated, stimulating thoughts and offering comfort to visitors. The verses were composed by County Durham poet Christopher Short. To read each of the verses and for further information about the project click here
The garden will be officially opened and blessed in October.
On Saturday 11th July 2015, Simon Green and Chris Purcell were delighted to attend the re-opening ceremony of Exhibition Park in Newcastle after its £3.2m refurbishment, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Newcastle City Council. As the green ribbons across the bandstand were cut by leader of Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes, the Sage Gateshead band played mellow music and the sun shone all day. Councillor Forbes said, “I’m delighted to be re-opening the park, which is one of Newcastle’s best loved green spaces.”
The opening was attended by the Heritage Lottery Fund, past and present members of Newcastle City Council involved in the project, the Exhibition and Brandling Parks Community Trust and it was great to catch up with members with whom Southern Green worked very closely in the initial stages of the project some 7 years ago.
After the ceremony, visitors sampled the delights of the refurbished Café in the Park, whilst the Race for Life ‘Pretty Muddy’ runners completed their fund raising runs and enjoyed the park’s facilities. Although not on the scale of past exhibitions in the park 1897 and 1929, the latter attracting over 4.0m people, the park was buzzing!
For further information on this exciting Heritage Lottery Funded refurbishment click here
For information about our involvement click here
Southern Green is delighted to have helped its local council, Gateshead, and the Friends of Chase Park secure a grant of just under £1million (£922,900) from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund, to restore Chase Park in Whickham. This means that to date Southern Green has helped local communities secure over £27.0m worth of HLF funding. On hearing the news of the successful bid, Alan Scott, Chair of the Friends of Chase Park commented - Many thanks Simon (Green), this is fantastic news. Can I as chair pass on my sincere thanks to you and all of your team, for all of your hard work, dedication to the cause and more importantly the information, advice and guidance you all have given on both parts of the bid. I personally look forward to working with you in the future.
The Chase Park project is likely to set the tone for future park projects in that it is founded on localism, the project being instigated by the Friends Group. Localism combined with the public service commitments of Gateshead Council form the basis of a formal partnership agreement between The Friends of Chase Park and Gateshead Council which sets out the future management and delivery of sustainable activities for the park.
The project will focus on the conservation and restoration of heritage features whilst improving this much loved park as a leisure facility for the whole of the local community. Restoration works will be carried out on the listed windmill, entrance gates, footpaths and the former Whickham House Garden. The existing under 8's play area will be remodelled and sand and water play will be introduced, a tennis court resurfaced and new facilities provided including a teenage play area, skatepark, an outdoor gym and a community orchard and garden.
Works are proposed to start in January 2016 and complete in the summer of 2016.
To read the full HLF article click here
Southern Green is thrilled to announce that we will be overseeing the implementation of the restoration of Wharton Park, Durham. This follows on from our previous success in securing a grant of £2.5m from the Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF).
The park is a vital open space in Durham City Centre, but is much in need of works to repair walls, steps, footpaths and historic features. The proposals for the park include a new cafe and heritage centre, new toilets, improved car parking and access works, along with tree thinning and new planting.
Wharton Park was laid out in 1858 by William Wharton, Director of the London and North Eastern Railway. The battery and battlement walk were key features of the original park and they continue to provide stunning views over the city, across the viaduct and station, and to the World Heritage Site of Durham Castle and Cathedral.