Building The Mayflower Forest for 2020

After a successful fundraising campaign, leading members of Plymouth’s construction industry are moving forward to create the ‘Mayflower Forest’ as part of their community engagement efforts towards a lasting legacy for Mayflower400.

The Road to Mayflower team is made up of professionals who have pledged voluntary help and support for delivering various ‘Welcome to Plymouth’ projects including illuminating the ski slope and public art projects along Embankment Road. As the jewel in the crown project ‘The Mayflower Forest’, the team plan to deliver a new landscape vision to revitalise Marsh Mills Roundabout as a green gateway transforming the visitors’ arrival experience as well as delivering significant environmental benefits.

The volunteering Mayflower Forest design team is being headed by leading construction consultants at AECOM (Landscape Architecture), AWW (Architecture) and YGS Landscapes (Landscape Contractors).

Lead designer of The Mayflower Forest Adam King, Associate Director of AECOM said: “Our vision is to retain the best elements of the existing green infrastructure and enhance them, to provide an elegant sophisticated gateway to the city. The concept has developed into the Mayflower Forest, a lasting legacy project for Plymouth with the capacity to wow, delight and inspire the residents, visitors and guests to our City. Our design will focus on creating an urban forest of mainly birch trees and using local stone to create an artistic dry river bed. The scheme directly relates to the Native Americans who used birch as an important construction material and is a species both native to the British Isles and North America. We propose to use as much of the pre-existing scheme as possible, and plant over 1000 trees.”

Under the Marsh Mills flyover, due to the rain shadow effect, operational requirements and the inability to plant trees, the team plan to create interest through the use of locally donated granite boulders from Burrington Estates’ Stowford Mill site to create a dry river bed effect. During December 2019 Jeremy Bishop Haulage Ltd will deliver, in-kind, 300 tonnes of granite boulders from their compound in Lee Mill to Marsh Mills roundabout. This process will be project managed in-kind, by Ty Nelson Director at Groundfix Ltd who are carrying out all the infrastructure and groundworks at Sherford. It is expected that in early January 2020 the stream construction will get underway with Gilpin Demolition providing in-kind plant and Groundfix Ltd continuing to project manage the construction process.

In terms of next steps for delivering the project Steve Warren-Brown, Managing Director of YGS Landscapes said: “In liaison with Plymouth City Council and Highways England, our next steps will be the clearance of the scrub and self-seeded vegetation on the Marsh Mills roundabout, along with the installation of the dry river bed feature under the existing flyover. These works are planned to take place this winter. Following this initial phase, there will be a significant amount of preparation work, which will need to take place. We are planning to undertake the first phases of the planting February and March 2020, which will develop into the Mayflower Forest, a lasting legacy for Plymouth and an elegant, visually stimulating and environmentally sustainable gateway to our city.”

As part of the Delivery Programme for the Plan for Trees, Plymouth City Council is supporting the Mayflower Forest scheme by providing initial landscape works to prepare the site for formal landscaping. This will involve staff using brushcutters and chainsaws to clear scrub and bramble to provide space for new planting as part of the Mayflower Forest. This will include removing dead, diseased or ill formed trees, including thinning out where this is required for good arboricultural practice. This work will start on 2 December and is expected to take four days to complete the vegetation clearance and ground preparation.

To find out more about the delivery of The Mayflower Forest, read the Frequently Asked Questions

To find out more about the Road to Mayflower project, including how to get involved in the project, visit www.buildingplymouth.co.uk/road-to-mayflower/the-road-to-mayflower

To find out more about Plymouth’s Plan for Trees, visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/planningandbuildingcontrol/treesandhedges/plantrees