Gardens cap Heartlands mine renewal vision in Cornwall

Heartlands landscaping design team borrows from Cornish culture for mining site restoration.

A new 8ha park in Cornwall opens to the public this month to crown the completion of a £35m project.

Heartlands masterplanner, landscape architect LUC, worked with up-and-coming talent Hugo Bugg, a former RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year and Gold Medal creator of show gardens.

Rambling paths and undulating naturalistic landscape meander around newlyrestored mining buildings at Robinson's Shaft in Pool. The site includes the Diaspora Botanical Gardens reflecting the countries to which the Cornish have emigrated.

An adventure playground, amphitheatre and market square punctuate the landmark, which aims to support the area's regeneration. Pool, Camborne and Redruth have struggled since the closure of the tin and copper mining industry.

"Our concept aims to celebrate the heroism, ingenuity and sheer bloody-mindedness that resulted in the Cornish 19th century success in deep metal mining," said LUC. "The park recognises Cornish identity, innovation and culture.

"But what distinguishes this particular mining site is that it remained in use until 1996 and therefore retained more of its historic buildings and structures."

Robinson's engine house, for example, includes a pumping engine from 1854, which has been kept in a good state of preservation and was the last engine of its kind to work on a Cornish mine site.

Funding came from the Big Lottery Fund, Cornwall Council, the Homes & Communities Agency and the EU.

The free attraction will be run as a social enterprise by the Heartlands Trust charity.

Designer's view

"Working with and on a derelict mine site for more than a year was a valuable experience. All the stories from the local community were remarkable and became a huge influence on my design process."

Hugo Bugg, director, Hugo Bugg Landscapes

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