The first section of Alconbury Enterprise Campus’ iconic boulevard has been put into place in time for the opening of the Incubator Building early in 2014.
The work includes the refurbishment of the former North Gate and the creation of a new roadway for cars, bikes and pedestrians, and landscaping. Now the engineering work is virtually complete the extensive landscaping – which has been a key part of the design of the new entrance – has started with the planting of the first 24 of over 1100 trees.
These 24 trees are the biggest in the planting scheme and at over 30 foot high each create an instant tree-lined avenue of small-leaved lime greenspires. The trees are a British native with great stature and longevity and a regular and formal appearance to provide an appropriate setting to the flagship Incubator building.
The work is being carried out by local contractor Breheny. All the trees on site are local native species and the selection was put together in consultation with the Arboricultural Officer at Huntingdonshire District Council.
Tim Leathes, Project Director for site owners and developers Urban&Civic said:
“The Limes are looking great, and create the instant impact we wanted. They provide a great frame to the Incubator and ensure the Boulevard sets the tone that we will deliver on the Campus – in the detail of the road and cycle ways, the quality of landscaping, and the use of native species and local contractors.”
Terry Howard from Breheny said:
“This has been a great scheme to work on. The number of large trees going in to the boulevard is quite staggering, and you can see the instant impact they create. They look like they have always been there, and compliment some of the existing trees around this area of the site well. We will now carry on with the landscaping around the new road and building, and be planting over 1100 more trees over the next few weeks.”
The landscaping scheme was designed by the Alconbury Weald design team including the owners and developers Urban&Civic, masterplanners David Lock Associates, and landscape consultants Parkwood Consultancy Services. Richard Harmer, from Proscape, based in Bury St Edmunds, who are the tree specialists helping Breheny with the planting, added:
“We selected these specific trees along with the client onsite at the Nursery to ensure they were the right size and shape, and all as consistent as possible. As they are going in as semi-mature trees there is a fair amount of work that goes into preparing the tree pit, setting up effective watering and monitoring systems, and ensuring the tree stands nice and straight. It has been quite exciting for the team to see how these large trees just seem to fit the scale of the project here so well and enhance the setting of the Incubator building.”
In keeping with a Stukeleys tradition when new trees are planted, Urban&Civic ensured that some 2013 coins were placed underneath some of the trees.
The Boulevard is a key part of the early infrastructure being delivered to create Alconbury Enterprise Campus. It will eventually expand to be a dual carriageway to enable easy prioritised bus access to the site and to create a main artery road that runs through the site and comes out on the Southern Access connection planned for the A141. At this stage it will connect into existing road systems.