Groundwork Landscape Architects

Paddington Recreation Ground Nature Reserve2 min read

ROLE: Inception to Completion

LOCATIONS: Paddington Recreation Ground, Westminster

CLIENT: Westminster City Council

Background & Objectives: 

Groundwork London were commissioned by Westminster City Council to create a new Nature Area in Paddington Recreation Ground.

This was as part of their Capital Programme with the aim of addressing an identified deficiency in access to wildlife in the local area, highlighted in the London Plan and WCC’s Unitary Development Plan (UDP), Open Space Strategy and Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP).

Paddington Recreation Ground is Westminster’s largest open space occupying a 27-acre site in Maida Vale.

Phase one of the project, the creation of a new woodland walk, wildflower meadow, and stag beetle loggery, was completed. The second phase which focused on a new wildlife pond, boardwalk and dipping platform. The timber used for the board walk and decking around the pond was supplied from sustainably managed UK woodlands.

Design Solution:

The area of open water provides a new wetland wildlife habitat, a first for the park and an important

amenity to the local area. The new timber pathways surrounding the pond allow visitors to fully appreciate the new environment, and a dipping platform enables safe and easy access to the pond by schools and community groups to take part in various learning activities.

The pond is supplied with water from rain water capture from the roof of the adjacent building and

then cleaned up through a reed bed. The water supply is backed up by a bore hole into the chalk aquifer (100m down) that is activated by electronic sensors if the pond becomes too dried out.


The pond is a great addition to the area and is proving to be a key resource for outdoor learning, bringing local residents, schools and community groups closer to the natural environment and wildlife that surrounds them.

The site also has an outdoor classroom with a green roof, integrated with a raised reed bed, another valuable community resource and learning tool.

Westminster City Council scooped first place in the ‘National Environmental Project of the Year’ 2009

awards by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) for Paddington Recreation Ground Nature


Jane Everett

Lead Landscape Architect

London Team

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