This month (Sept) we focus on Europlanters and their involvement in London's Pocket Park Project.
Europlanters install London’s First Floating Pocket Park
There are many beautiful parks in London but this is the first and only one that floats! Designed by Tony Woods Director of Garden Club London, this exciting new park is in the Merchant Square Grand Union Canal, within the Paddington basin. It has planning permission for 5 years.
The 730 square metres of park brings a new lease of life to the Paddington basin complementing the award winning Fan bridge and water and light fountain of Merchant Square. With the capacity for 120 visitors at any one time, residents can enjoy free wifi and coffee and snacks from barges offering a café style facility.
200 Metres of Fibre Glass Fender
The Europlanters team came on board at the end of March starting with fitting almost 200 Metres of fibre glass fender to the pontoon. This was not without challenges, as the pontoon was continually moving and uneven at the start. The planters were then installed and soil was used to level out the platform. It was very difficult fitting the planters to an uneven surface at the start, but the beauty of fibre glass is that it will flex when needed.
It was all hands on deck when the soil arrived. There were two deliveries; the first delivery was for 48 Tonne and the second for 47 Tonne. This arrived via bags on a canal barge with a high ab crane. Each bag was strategically placed on the pontoon to ensure the pontoon remained as level as possible at this stage.
100 Planters in RAL 7026
‘Health and Safety was very different to our usual site work’ said John Wilkes Director of Europlanters ‘on this project we needed to wear life jackets over our hiviz and bump hats instead of hard hats. All tools needed to be attached with lanyards to ensure that they didn’t fall to the bottom of the canal.’
Europlanters installed 100 planters in RAL 7026 creating 214 square metres of planting space for trees and soft planting and fitted 58 Meters of Sapele hardwood seats to create communal seating areas. These all have stainless steel brackets and legs to support them. 18 sail supports were also fitted into some of the planters to create shaded areas for people to sit.
Protecting the Environment
'During the installation we needed to ensure that we protected the environment continued John. 'Therefore a 110V vacuum cleaner was used to prevent any dust or fibres going into the canal whilst fitting’. The multi stemmed Tibetan Cherry trees were anchored down into the planters secured with guy wires fitted into the planters and were surrounded by soft planting such as mixed grasses, Lavender and Alliums.
‘This was perhaps the most challenging installation we have done, and it didn’t come without its challenges, but it was by far one of the most exciting projects that we have been involved in’ said Julie Wilkes, Director of Europlanters.