Garden Square, Rushden Lakes

A lush green oasis at the heart of Rushden Lakes, Garden Square embraces the tranquillity of the surrounding Nene Valley and the wetland habitats that are so evocative of this region of Northamptonshire

Set within the beautiful Nene Valley, Rushden Lakes is a unique hub for the local area, focused around the Skew Bridge Ski Lake, which forms an integral part of the 270 hectare Nene Wetlands nature reserve.

Visitors to Rushden Lakes can shop, dine along the lakeside, take a canoe out on the water or hire a bike and take many of the trails which fork out from the Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre on site. The vision for the public realm at Garden Square stemmed from the idea of creating a verdant oasis in this corner of Rushden Lakes, giving visitors the opportunity to relax in a calm space surrounded by greenery.

The space encourages people to explore and interact with their surroundings and builds upon the unique character of Rushden Lakes. A natural play space creates an exciting opportunity for children to explore amongst giant ‘fallen’ oak logs and river boulders, which are so characteristic of the surrounding Nene Valley.

“The ideas from the team at Macgregor Smith were imaginative and exciting, and embraced our vision to create a real green oasis within the Garden Square development.” The Crown Estate

Handmade brass leaves set into the floorscape mimic the fallen foliage from the surrounding riverside trees, with shade-tolerant planting including ferns, bugloss and anemones reinforcing the character of this verdant ‘dell’.  Insect and bird habitats nestled in the trees boost the habitat provision for locally important species.

Landscape Architecture: Macgregor Smith

Location: Rushden Lakes, Northamptonshire
Client: The Crown Estate
Project Manager: Projex
Architect: Harris Partnership
Engineer: BED
Contractor: Willerby Landscapes

manufacturers: Inspired Metals, Dylan Group, mmcité, CED

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