Landscape & Amenity Awards 2009: Most Outstanding Contribution to the Environment

WINNER - CR Swift Landscaping - Northala Fields Park

Northala Fields lies at the heart of the Northolt and Greenford Countryside Park and when CR Swift Landscaping was contracted to turn the 19ha of unused scrub into a neighbourhood park, environment-friendly methods and recycled materials were high on the agenda.

Four mounds - from 12m to 22m in height - formed the crux of the project and were sculpted from imported spoil that saved 130,000 truckloads of construction rubble from going into outlying tips. All four hillocks were finished with different soils and a rainbow of wildflower mixes.

And all four mounds set the ethical as well as the visual tone of the park's construction: 90 per cent of the materials used in the park are recycled. These include plastic path edging, fishing stations for the lakes, hardwood used for benches and even litter bins.

Surfacing included granite cobbles and kerbs that were recycled along with the concrete filling for just over 2,000 gabion baskets. One of the gabion runs, a 1km sweep of concrete and caging snaking around one of the mounds, is believed to be the longest and perhaps only upward-spiralling gabion run in the country.

CR Swift Landscaping business development manager Steve McMillan says: "A careful balance of materials brought on site has enabled us to develop acid, neutral and alkaline plant communities. The array of new trees, shrubs and aquatic plants has revitalised an area that was once a haven for fly-tipping. Now the park is often at capacity in warm weather, at weekends and bank holidays."

The fishing lakes are 2.5m deep and fringed with wetlands, there are two children's play centres and timber bridges made from sustainably sourced wood have been built over swales of Northala Fields - all of which recently helped the park win a Landscape Institute award and a Green Flag for Ealing council.



City & Guilds NPTC Land-based industries are very diverse and each sector needs a qualified workforce with a comprehensive set of skills. City & Guilds NPTC is about recognising skill and achievement in the rural industries through a system of credible and recognised qualifications.

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