Building Plymouth Community Projects

Building Plymouth Community Projects

Road to Mayflower - Projects

The Mayflower Forest

As the flagship project of The Road to Mayflower, we’re delivering a new landscape design to revitalise Marsh Mills Roundabout as a green gateway that transforms visitors’ arrival experience as well as delivering significant environmental benefits.

Over 1000 silver birch trees have been planted to form the Forest, some colourful surprises have been installed including bulbs and wildflower turf, and an artistic dry riverbed has been created using local stone, as a reference to the American landscape that the Pilgrims discovered. The Native Americans used birch trees to make their canoes and shelters and the tree is indigenous to both the UK and North America.

This project will deliver a lasting legacy through:

Improvements to aesthetics and visual amenity so that the concrete jungle of the city’s main gateway becomes green, lush and so much more attractive
Biodiversity especially for insects and other invertebrates with the installation of species-rich grasslands
Carbon sequestration – important for the highly polluted area of Marsh Mills
Sustainable urban drainage
Trapping particulates on leaves to improve air quality
An improved key gateway into the city – impressing visitors, and enjoyed by residents who use this highway regularly
Ongoing seasonal interest
Support for Plymouth’s Plan to increase its tree cover

The design has been led and delivered by leading construction consultants at AECOM (Landscape Architecture) who are appointed as Principal Designer and YGS Landscapes (Landscape Contractors).

With thanks to our project delivery partners (in-kind):

Burrington Estates – donated the 300 tonnes of granite stone from the Stowford Mill site in Ivybridge for creating the dry river bed
Gilpin Demolition – provided plant and labour to create the dry river bed effect
Groundfix Ltd – project managing as Principal Contractor
Jeremy Bishop Haulage Ltd – delivered the 300 tonnes of granite stone to Marsh Mills Roundabout
Tungsten West – gravel donated from Hemerdon Mine
AWW – architecture services
Ian Williams – painting the flyover structures around the immediate Mayflower Forest area
YGS Landscapes – delivering the planting and landscape services, and providing two years in-kind maintenance post project delivery

The design and programme of works has been developed in conjunction with key stakeholders: Plymouth City Council, Highways England and SWH, along with utility providers.

Our volunteer-led project has attracted significant in-kind support from the construction industry and has also successfully generated the following income:

Crowdfunding campaign ‘Friends of the Mayflower Forest’ = £43,000 (raised from over 220 businesses and individuals donating over the summer of 2019 including match funding from the City Change Fund)

Section 106 funds = £30,000 (bid successfully to access funds which mitigate the impact of developments on the local community)

Private sector sponsorship = £15,000 (sponsorship from GroundFix and AECOM)

Frequently asked questions_The Mayflower Forest Jan 021.pdf

January 2020 The Mayflower Forest Core team:

Left to right: Emma Hewitt – Building Plymouth, Steve Warren-Brown – YGS Landscapes,
Ty Nelson – Ground Fix, Adam King – AECOM and now with YGS Landscapes

March 2021 – Planting the final trees at The Mayflower Forest

The Polish Bridge Art

A bridge. One of the few words that conveys so many positive meanings, most of these linked with joining places, people or ideas together. It unites, brings closer divided communities.

Our aim was to re-energise the ‘Polish Bridge’ – Cattedown Road Bridge, Gdynia Way, Plymouth.
The design brief: To create and implement an art design for the ‘Polish Bridge’ as a lasting legacy for Mayflower400.

The old ‘Polish Bridge’ design

The new ‘Polish Bridge’ design

The cities of Plymouth, UK and Gdynia in Poland have been twinned since September 1976, following the signing of a ‘Declaration of Cooperation.’ Gdynia is the Polish port city on the Baltic coast. The bridge on Gdynia Way, the main gateway into Plymouth, was decorated with Polish floral folk decorations that had faded due to exposure of time and the elements. However this physical representation of the twinning collaboration is really not recognised by our city’s residents including the Polish community (estimated at 15,000 of the city’s population).

The refurbishment of Gdynia Way is the perfect opportunity to revive the bridge’s symbolism in a new way that will celebrate the coexistence of two communities; the Poles and the British – living together in Plymouth. This will benefit our visitors by offering a much improved welcome impression from the freshly designed bridge art which could tell a migration story about a different moment in history.

Commissioned by and reporting to The Road to Mayflower Board of Directors, the art design and installation has been led by James Edgar Studio, Plymouth.

The key project delivery partners are:

James Edgar Studio – commissioned for the design and installation of art works
Building Plymouth – overall project lead and funding
Midas Construction – construction expertise
Stride Treglown – design expertise
Jem Scaffolding – bridge safe structure for works
Plymouth City Council – bridge maintenance programme
SWH – site highways contractor

In terms of engagement with the local Polish community positive relationships have been established to inform the design and delivery with:
Plymouth’s Saturday Polish School
Plymouth Gdynia Twinning Panel

Our volunteer-led project is attracting significant in-kind support from the construction industry and has also successfully generated the following income:

Private sector sponsorship = £8,000 (sponsorship from Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, City Centre Company, WBD and Midas Construction)
The Polish Bridge Art Project with the Saturday Polish School is part of Mayflower 400 Community Sparks –
a partnership project between Mayflower 400, Plymouth Culture, Plymouth City Council, The Box and Vital Sparks’ = £2,500

Jem Scaffolding provided £15,000 in-kind support for the scaffolding works.

Watch the ‘Polish Bridge’ art design project video here

Frequently asked questions_The Polish Bridge Art Project March 2021.pdf

Welcome to Plymouth Art Panels

Our aim was to transform the Embankment Road visitor experience by installing a series of vibrant art panels designed by children and young people from across the city focused on the theme of ‘Discovery –Telling Plymouth’s history and heritage over the past 400 years.’

Twenty eight schools signed up for an art panel story board. Themes are wide ranging and include Mayflower400, Plymouth Hoe, Sir Francis Drake, the ocean, Robert Scott, Devonport over the years, Smeaton’s Tower, St Andrew’s Church, WWI and WWII, women in Plymouth, Dartmoor, the abolition of the slave trade and Plymouth’s connection, Sir Joshua Reynolds, military and maritime history, the Tamar Bridge, modern transport, food and fashion, and so much more of our history and heritage.

Through this project professionals and students from the world of Construction, Engineering, Creative Industries and the Arts have come together to act as mentors and art directors for the design of the panels with the aim of inspiring and enthusing our young people to be proud of living in Plymouth, to study these related subjects and develop vital STEM skills in order to pursue future careers in these industries.

Installing the panels – Image credit Sarah Brittain Edwards at

A completed primary school art panel design

With thanks to sponsors:
Plymouth Construction Training Group
Willmott Dixon
First Thursday Club
Constructing Excellence Plymouth Club
Stride Treglown
South west Women in Construction

Thank you to delivery partners:
Stride Treglown
PDF (Plymouth Design Forum)

Illuminating the Plymouth Ski Slope

The iconic ski slope was illuminated for the first time at our Road to Mayflower launch event in February 2019.

After proving the lighting concept, we had ambitions to illuminate the ski slope for key commemorative periods throughout 2020. However due to the impact of the pandemic we have unfortunately been unable to pursue this project.

With thanks to sponsors:
Kier Construction
Building Plymouth

Thank you to delivery partners:
Hoare Lea
Plymouth Snowsports Centre