Alconbury Weald, Cambridgeshire

Client Urban & Civic are in the process of delivering a high-quality mixed-use development in Cambridgeshire, encompassing an area of 1,425 acres. The Alconbury project as a whole includes new housing, a school, a business sector and 700 acres of green open space.  

The new community is being built on a former US Air Force Base, which flew Liberators and B-17’s in raids against Germany in the Second World War. All trees identified for translocation and their new tree pits had to be scanned for unexploded ordnance. Originally in use by Bomber Command from 1939, and then the USAF, Alconbury Airfield was also instrumental during the Cold War and Operation Desert Storm. Flying from the base finally ceased on March 31st, 1995.

One of the first areas to open to the public was the show home entrance for the first of the housing plots, and key to providing a high quality and established feel was the planting of semi mature tree stock. 

Along with 70 cm girth oaks and 90cm girth willows, three feature lime trees were planted at the entrance way.  These Tilia platyphyllos had girths of between 110 and 120 cm and weighed in at around 8 tonne each.  A 200-tonne crane was required to lift each of them into position. The trees were transported to site on three articulated extra wide trailers.

The trees and woodland planting were the first works undertaken on site, and used a mix of large, medium and small trees to create instant impact. The scheme continues to grow as the development progresses.  

The planting at Ermine Street provides a landscape greenway that will greatly enhance the local environment providing all year interest for the local community as well as providing a green boundary to Alconbury Weald. We have installed native species including oak, ash, hawthorn and blackthorn which are all suitable for the ground conditions and the local climate.

We are thrilled to be part of such a fantastic scheme, helping develop communities and bring them to life!