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Feasibility Study and Master Plan for Woodberry Wetlands, London

About

Summary 

This award-winning master plan and business plan, for the development of a visitor facility at Woodberry Wetlands, was part of a major regeneration scheme in Hackney and supported a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid. 

East and West reservoirs are hidden gems in Hackney, east London. They are important functioning reservoirs but also have important landscape and conservation values with a listed pump house. London Wildlife Trust and Thames Water wanted to explore the feasibility of creating a sustainable visitor site, taking into consideration the views of multiple stakeholders. 

Together with our close associates Allen Scott Landscape Architects we worked closely with the Steering Group (Berkley Homes, Genesis Housing, Hackney Council, London Wildlife Trust, Manor House Development Trust, Natural England, Thames Water) to investigate a range of options for implementing landscape, educational and visitor facility improvements.

We delivered an outline master plan to redevelop the Gas House, enhance the reservoir habitats and develop connections into the wider area for people and wildlife.

Our Approach 

To be able to identify aspirational yet realistic solutions that would meet the needs of the wide range of stakeholders on the Steering Group, and those of the diverse of local communities living around East and West Reservoirs, meant that community and stakeholder engagement was a fundamental element of this study.  

The strategic recommendations needed to deliver solutions that addressed the issues faced by stakeholders anddevelop opportunities that benefited the organisation, visitors, residents, businesses and the local environment. Therefore, we undertook a wide range of consultation and community engagement methodologies including face-to-face meetings, online and self-completion visitor surveys, telephone and e-mail consultations, web-based feedback, focus groups, stakeholder workshops and public exhibitions.

Once we had a good understanding of the wide range of local needs and aspirations for the site, combined with an understanding of the strategic context, the potential demand from visitors and a  detailed site assessment and analysis, we proposed an range of possible options for discussion at a Steering Group workshop.  The feasibility of the preferred option was then tested through further consultation, market research, competitor analysis, initial site and building plans and an indicative business plan. 

The second phase of the study was to develop a masterplan for the concept with a vision and development framework. This involved preparing detailed area proposals, business planning and a risk assessment.  

Outcome 

The final options we provided for the Gas House, East Reservoir and West Reservoir were unanimously agreed by the Steering Group. Our proposal focussed on four key strands: access, biodiversity improvements, community engagement and long-term planning. The proposal for the listed building, the Gas House, comprised external restoration and internal refurbishment to create flexible spaces. A prospectus document was delivered that graphically presented the vision, masterplan, key aims and proposals. 

Woodberry Wetlands is now one of the London Wildlife Trust’s most important site as described on its website:

“Woodberry Wetlands is a haven for wildlife and people in Hackney: 11 hectares of reed-fringed ponds and dykes, always free and accessible to everyone. The reserve is five minutes’ walk from the densely built-up areas of Manor House, Stoke Newington and Woodberry Down. The contrast between the surrounding tower blocks and the wild wetland habitat with old oak trees is almost unbelievable.”

www.wildlondon.org.uk/woodberry-wetlands-nature-reserve

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Feasibility Study and Master Plan for Woodberry Wetlands, London

Client:

London Wildlife Trust, Thames Water,

Location:

London, United Kingdom
London Wildlife Trust, Thames Water

Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk