Leading members of Plymouth’s construction industry have launched a fundraising campaign to build an iconic ‘Mayflower Forest’ to welcome visitors to the city as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.
The 'Road to Mayflower' team is planning a new landscape design to revitalise Marsh Mills Roundabout as a green gateway transforming the arrival experience as well as creating significant environmental benefits.
The volunteering design team, led by AECOM, AWW and YGS Landscapes, plans to plant more than 1,000 trees creating a 'Mayflower Forest' of silver birch trees. Local stone will be used to to create an artistic dry riverbed.
The team is now appealing for funding to help turn the project into a reality in time for the 2020 commemorations, and has launched a fundraising page.
Emma Hewitt, Skills Co-Ordinator at Building Plymouth, which is leading in partnership The Road to Mayflower project, said: “As a team of committed volunteers, we now urgently need the business community to help us – we are seeking 400 pledges of £100 to deliver our vision of the Mayflower Forest. Every pound counts and we also welcome donations from local people who wish to show their civic pride by investing in this project.”
An artist's impression of the plans
Stuart Elford, Chief Executive of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said: “As the Greek proverb said ‘A society grows great when people plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit’.
"The Chamber is delighted to endorse this volunteering legacy project and we are proud to kick-start this fundraising campaign by donating the first £100. We urge our local business community and the people of Plymouth to get involved and help us to build our Mayflower Forest, which will be a fabulous welcome to our great City.”
Adam King, Associate Director of AECOM and leading Landscape Architect, said: “Our vision is to retain the best elements of the existing green infrastructure and enhance them, to provide an elegant sophisticated green gateway to the city. As a global construction consultancy working very closely with the city on major infrastructure projects we are delighted to offer our CSR, design and other volunteering time to reinforce our continued commitment to the regeneration of the city. This fabulous legacy project further demonstrates our sense of civic pride and community spirit.”
Steve Warren-Brown, Managing Director of YGS Landscapes, said: “As a proud Plymothian I am thrilled for my company to be involved in delivering this fantastic project and given the heightened profile of environmental issues this is a timely investment for more trees to be planted which will significantly help to reduce pollution. We hope the local business community will get on board and help us make this legacy project a reality.”
Ian Sanders, Director of AWW’s Plymouth office, said: “We recognise the opportunity that Marsh Mills offers us to create a green gateway to the city but we can’t deliver our exciting designs without a successful fundraising effort now. Through creating the Mayflower Forest, our design nods to the Native Americans using birch to make canoes and shelters which is an interesting link to the wider Mayflower400 commemorations.”
The team unveils the plans
Illuminating the Plymouth Slope
The iconic Ski Slope was illuminated for the first time at the The Road to Mayflower launch event. The team is planning to illuminate the ski slope for key commemorative periods throughout 2019 and 2020.
Embankment Road will be bursting into colour with the installation of a series of vibrant art panels. The team aims to connect the road to the city’s rich heritage by engaging with the young people of Plymouth to create stunning art, which will provide a warm welcome to visitors. GWR and Network Rail have kindly supported the Embankment Road panels.
The flowers decorating Gdynia Bridge are well-known throughout the city but have faded over the years. The Road to Mayflower team will look to refurbish Gdynia Bridge and refresh the flowers. As Plymouth is twinned with Gdynia in Poland, it’s a great way to celebrate the two communities living together in the city and the team has been working with the local Saturday Polish School to help with the transformation.
Blagdon Meadows’ 3.8 hectares of reclaimed grassland is the perfect location for a pop-up art display. It’s a prime urban location to experience artistic, digital and sculptural temporary installations whilst enjoying the natural environment of the River Plym estuary and its everchanging bird population. The team is also planning to give students the opportunity to learn construction skills as part of the installation.
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