Havelock Square, Swindon
Swindon is the largest town of Anglo-Saxon origin in Wiltshire, southern England. In 1952, the town experienced major re-development and seeing a huge increase in its population due to the newly built infrastructure available to both retailers and property owners. Swindon was originally a small market town, mainly used for local trade, situated on top of the hill in central Swindon, now known as Old Town. Ultimately, it was the implementation of the industrial revolution and the coming of the main London to Bristol railway that was responsible for Swindon’s accelerated growth. In the present day, the major employers within the town include BMW, Mini and WH Smith’s distribution centre and headquarters.
Brunel Shopping Centre sits in the heart of Swindon and is a hub for residents and retail store workers. Havelock Square is one of the shopping centres’ main entrances, surrounded by shopping stores on all four sides. The pleasant open square offers a walk through to the town centre and acts as a meeting space for community gatherings. With street furniture placed amongst the green infrastructure, this area has become an attractive meeting, waiting and relaxing area encouraging a lunchtime break out area, enabling al fresco dining under the gaze of the statue of Isambard Kingdom Brunel who created the Great Western Railway.
The landscape works on this scheme were to invoke enhanced wellbeing, for a high-quality shopping experience and increase footfall into the retailers' units. The zone has been designed to amplify the feeling of space and place and allow movement throughout the square encouraging visitors to stop, pause and reflect. The eight trees planted in March 2016 by the contractors, Alun Griffiths Contractors have an excellent continuous rooting volume in a complete GreenBlue Urban ArborSystem tree pit with 2 layers of StrataCell’s, RootRain irrigation and aeration products with high quality galvanised angle tree grille frames, infilled with ArboResin porous tree pit surfacing allowing rain and runoff to enter the soil, creating a mini-SuDS feature right in the town centre.
The trees in Havelock Square have provided shade for those who enjoy the space, are aesthetically beautiful throughout the different seasons,
It has been proven that people are willing to pay 9-12% more for goods and services within a shopping centre with large, well-cared-for trees.As these trees continue to flourish, they will also continue to bring multiple other benefits to the denizens of Swindon that only mature trees can deliver – for decades to come.