23rd May, 2022
HTA’s redesign of 8.1 ha Cator Park in Kidbrooke Village for Berkeley Homes opened to the public in 2020. Working in collaboration with the London Wildlife Trust, the scheme returns nature to the city and challenges the perception that urban brownfield development cannot contribute to the wider ecological and biodiversity network whilst creating successful spaces for the community.
We responded to the brief with a landscape led vision for Cator Park and the wider Kidbrooke Village, proposing a mosaic of varied habitat, topography and biophilic spaces including lakes, WSUD wetlands, meadows, open amenity and wild spaces. These wilder green spaces provide more valuable habitats for birds, bees and other wildlife, as well as dealing with local flood mitigation and water management, and providing more interesting, varied and engaging places for the local community to spend time close to nature. This project is on course to deliver a 160 % gain in biodiversity based on DEFRA’s own metrics and provides valuable lessons for how traditional urban parkland can be adapted to help nature recovery.
Drawing upon the history of a lost river that crossed the site and from where the village takes its name, the Lower Kid Brooke, a new chalk stream creates a palimpsest of the ancient waterway as a dry chalk stream winding its way from the north to the south of the park. The chalk stream forms the backbone of the landscape approach, connecting the existing water bodies with a dry riverbed, acting as a path and inviting the public to discover and interact with the natural environment.
At the source of the chalk stream we have created a 3,000m3 wild play space creating a biophilic experience for ages 0 to 100. Limestone outcrops and climbing walls enclose the space and bespoke natural play towers create a dramatic focus the space, materials used in the construction have been repurposed and upcycled from standing deadwood trees, air preserved and reused as climbing frames to greenheart groynes pulled out redundant Thames jetties to be used as climbing walls and benches.
Not only has nature returned to the site but the parkland transformation has received an overwhelmingly positive response from local residents. This new park offers a legacy for the local community & London. It’s received multiple award recognitions including the Landscape Institute’s David Attenborough award and the Mayor’s Award for Sustainable and Environmental Planning in 2020.
Camley Street Nature Reserve
26th Jul, 2022
LFA event: Act Now: Biodiversity in London
11th Jul, 2022
NLA On Location: Canada Water
20th Apr, 2022
Restoring 20th Century Historic Landscapes
19th Apr, 2022
How Greystar & HTA transformed formerly private derelict industrial land adjacent to the Grand Union Canal into a vibrant, biodiverse, mixed-use neighbourhood with public realm at its heart
14th Apr, 2022
James Lord, Landscape Partner at HTA, talks on the importance of leading with landscape
10th Nov, 2021
Water Water - Matt Hoad explains his water-based system helping Bringing Nature Home
09th Nov, 2021
James Lord and David Mooney in conversation with Isabel Allen from Architecture Today
02nd Nov, 2021
HTA & Pictorial meadows' wall at Planted Festival re homed to local community - transforming a London housing estate
28th Oct, 2021
James Lord talks to the Landscape Institute on the importance of starting with landscape when it comes to housing
27th Oct, 2021
Creating a bijou green roof with the disappearing top soil and the difference a small roof garden can make
25th Oct, 2021
Can urban growing help children to do better at school?
25th Oct, 2021
South Quay Plaza - An insight into our latest sustainable, landscape led design
11th Oct, 2021
James Lord on 'Leading with Nature' panel at the The Developer's Festival of Place
07th Oct, 2021
Planted Festival 2021
15th Sep, 2021
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