Foal Hurst Green, Paddock Wood
Berkeley Homes have long been known for the quality of their new built properties, and the care that goes into the landscaping surrounding them, but in the new Foal Hurst Green development in Paddock Wood, they have excelled themselves. The greenfield site in the heart of the Weald of Kent has been carefully designed to minimise disruption to nature, and in providing a 5 acre nature reserve, will enhance the biodiversity of the site. Architecturally planned to mimic the local vernacular, the properties represent the brick and tiled Kentish farm buildings, even including a square “oast house” facsimile!
This nature reserve, along with a central duckpond and a meadow to the south of the site will be maintained as an asset for the community and gives an open spacious feeling to the development, often missing on new build estates. It also helps protect residents from traffic noise, and gives a protective belt between the site and the ancient woodland, Foalhurst Wood, which is next door.
The landscape architects, LDA, chose to work with GreenBlue Urban to make sure that the tree planting across the site was sustainable, and would give long term canopy cover. Whilst much of the tree planting is in soft verges, giving an excellent rooting volume for the tree establishment, some of the trees are in or abutting hard paved areas, requiring more specialist solutions. In particular, the main entrance road was planted with an avenue of Liquidambar trees, with those adjacent to the parking bay needing a rooting solution.
To ensure that the soil was maintained in optimum rooting conditions below the hard surfacing, the GreenBlue Urban ArborSystem was installed, protecting the soil from compaction and anaerobic conditions. The RootSpace soil cell system was assembled, RootSoil 20 carefully poured in, the RootRain Civic irrigation solution threaded around the rootballs of the trees, which were in turn held upright by the Arborguy underground guying system, and the Arborvent 150 aeration system fitted to keep the soil oxygenated. The surrounding hard paved area was protected against root penetration by the use of ReRoot root barrier, giving these trees the very best chance to succeed long term, and the residents of this most attractive development a resilient landscape that will be able to weather future climate change – as well as bring the multiple benefits that only healthy trees are able to.
Berkeley Homes are committed to sustainability, protecting nature and biodiversity, and on this development, by installing trees, shrubs, green roofs, hedges and flowers, they have sought to maximise habitats for nature. It is truly encouraging that a major housing developer has gone to such lengths to create a healthy, prosperous development for both man and nature. GreenBlue Urban are proud to be part of their story.