Landform appointed to create Gibraltar's first public park

Landform has been appointed to create Commonwealth Park on reclaimed land in Gibraltar.

Landform Consultants and Olympic Park soil expert Tim O'Hare have been commissioned to create Gibraltar's first public park.

Commonwealth Park is being born out of a car park on reclaimed land.

Landform managing director Mark Gregory, who was asked to mastermind the project, said he thought of O'Hare immediately, because he wanted to create a landscape that could cope with the climate.

He said: "There is no public grass on Gibraltar. It has the Botanic Gardens but there is nowhere where people can just sit and relax.

"This is a government- led project and everyone in Gibraltar is really excited about it."

Landform landscape architect Nilufer Danis created the design in consultation with the Gibraltan government, while O'Hare did a feasibility study to find out what people wanted to grow on the site, the public park end use and potential sources of soil.

O'Hare said: "The good thing was that soil was on the agenda early on, which is often not the case.

"Gibraltar has a big land reclamation project underway, so we got used stockpiles of mineral component and we have gone to Spain for horse manure, green compost and a few organic compounds."

The topsoil is being manufactured from these ingredients and when it meets O'Hare's standards it will be transported on to the site.

Meanwhile, the ground is being prepared by Gibraltar Building & Joining Services, which will be the contractor throughout.

Gibraltan soil - No need to import from Spain

The decision to manufacture soil on Gibraltar instead of importing it from Spain was made with border delays in mind, something that has become more acute in recent weeks as Gibraltar accused Spain of unnecessarily long border checks. Commonwealth Park needs 3000sq m of soil, which would require 150 lorry journeys. The Gibraltan government also had concerns about the carbon impact and damage to Spain's environment. The manure is due to be imported next month.

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