Forest Park – Watergate

This project in the northeast of England included the transformation of a derelict coal mine into a forest park, with a range of distinct habitats and spaces across 99 hectares. We created a series of zones of varied terrain, including a lake, a waterfall and forest, integrating the new landscape with the adjacent existing woodland. Focal points, created by local artists, are connected by a series of accessible footpaths.

The lake has been colonised naturally by vegetation and wildlife, and the forest park is now well established. The park is a public and educational resource, serving walkers, riders, cyclists and local schools.

Find out more about Watergate Forest Park.

Site Design

This scheme started as a decommissioned coal mine with an underground fire. The local authority carried out reclamation works, leaving the site safe and ready for the landscaping phase.

Over the following five years, I worked as part of a team to design and deliver landscape works across the site. The initial phases involved the development of sports pitches, enhancements to the nursery showground, and parking facilities. The final phase included extensive planting, a network of accessible footpaths and bridlepaths with interpretation signage and waymarkers throughout.

The site was planted predominantly with native species to create mixed woodland, hazel coppice, heathland and marginal planting. Additionally, we planted 160 varieties of Salix taken from cuttings from a national collection.

Get in Touch

Scroll to Top