Project Detail

Royal Wharf

The creation of a public park at Royal Wharf, a 40-acre riverside development at Royal Wharf in East London, plus additional landscaping around the site and ongoing maintenance. 

Project budget

£4 million

Landscape Architects

Townshend Landscape Architects
Northumberland House
303-306 High Holborn
London WC1V 7JZ 

The Project

Kings Landscapes worked with landscape architects Townshend Landscape Architects on the creation of public open spaces at the Royal Wharf development. Royal Wharf is a 40-acre mixed-use development alongside the River Thames. Key to this development, by Ballymore, was the integration of public space, in particular the public park, Royal Wharf Gardens.

Central to the design of the park is a large lawn enclosed by planting and trees. Planting was designed to ensure year-round displays, which mark the passing of the seasons. The design also included a swale crossed by bridges. In addition to the swale’s visual appeal, it also forms part of the management of surface water at the site.

Kings Landscapes started the work by ensuring that all drainage and ducting was in place, and subsoil and crush concrete was laid for the formation level. Charcon countryside curbs were used for the construction of pathways, with 50mm of tarmac laid ready for the addition of bonded gravel.

As the site is ex-industrial, there is some ground contamination, which requires large digs for soft landscaping areas as well as the use of geotextiles to act as barriers for the new landscaping scheme.

Our team constructed the swale, together with hardwood boardwalk bridges and linked the bonded gravel walkways with a marginal planting scheme running along the swale.

We arranged the contract growing of all the planting needed, while trees were imported from Germany. Our expertise in all aspects of soft landscaping, including arboriculture, meant that we were able to carry out all this work ourselves. We also installed irrigation systems for the soft areas.

A tidal terrace was constructed along the Thames using coir rolls planted with Norfolk reeds interspersed with rock rolls to make a marginal habitat next to the marketing suite. Areas of this Norfolk reed were cut down in the second season in order to make way for the planting of a variety of plants tolerant of brackish water.

In addition to the construction of Royal Wharf Gardens, Kings Landscapes also worked on other parts of the site. This included the planting of semi-mature trees and shrubs, and the supply and installation of street furniture and play equipment.

Kings Landscapes also installed all external lighting including duct runs with access control panels. All of this was integrated into the landscape design.

Initial work carried out

  • Installation of drainage
  • Installation of irrigation systems
  • The creation of a swale
  • Building of hardwood bridges
  • Habitat creation
  • Lighting installation
  • Laying of the central lawn
  • Shrub & tree planting
  • Herbaceous planting

Ongoing maintenance

Following our work on the hard and soft landscaping at the site and the completion of the original construction maintenance, Kings Landscapes was contracted to provide ongoing maintenance on the site.

Kings Landscapes are now responsible for the care of the public spaces at the Royal Wharf site. As well as providing services such as roller mowing of lawns, pruning of hedges and plants and weeding of beds, our in-house tree surgery expertise means that we can also carry out tasks such as crown thinning and lifting.

We also continue to manage the mix of marginal plants within the tidal terrace, ensuring that this habitat continues thrive.

Maintenance tasks

  • Regular roller mowing of lawns
  • Scarifying, fertilizing, weed controlling and edging the lawn
  • Weeding and mulching of planting beds and swale
  • Dead heading flowering plants, pruning down herbaceous plants, pruning/ splitting to keep species separation
  • Controlling the mix of marginal plants within the tidal terrace, cutting down and removing the material at the end of the seaso
  • Pruning of hedges and topiary plants
  • Planting and care of summer and winter bedding
  • Pruning epicormic, basal and crown growth of trees
  • Hand watering of planters on the terrace and continual monitoring and adjustment of the soil moisture levels using the automatic irrigation system
  • Repair irrigation leaks and system components
  • Collection and removal of litter and fallen leaves
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