Hillier Trees Part of Major Project to Regenerate Elephant and Castle

Hillier Trees is proud to be part of the major, ongoing, multi-phase ‘Elephant Park’ project that aims to regenerate not only the Elephant and Castle area of London, but also green up the entire London Borough of Southwark. Over a period of around 10 years, Hillier will have supplied 1,100 semi-mature trees to support this remarkable initiative.

The Elephant Park development project is the brainchild of multinational construction, property and infrastructure company Lendlease. It is a £2.3 billion regeneration programme on 28 acres of land in the centre of Elephant and Castle. Through it, Lendlease intend to make this vibrant area of London one of the most exciting places in the capital to live, work and visit. It has been designed by landscape architect and urban design firm Gillespies and, in late 2012, Hillier were invited to tender for the supply of all trees.

“The brief was extraordinary in its scale and ambition,” comments Caroline Swann, Account Manager at Hillier Trees. “At the heart of the project is the Elephant Park development by Lendlease. As part of the contract awarded to them by Southwark Council, they also committed to greening up the entire Borough. Urban development projects occasionally require a number of ‘off site’ trees within the proximity of the main development, but this project goes further and will transform the whole area.”

New trees at the Salisbury Estate


Hillier was awarded the contract for the supply of 1,100 semi-mature trees, to be delivered as required over a period of approximately 10 years. “Lendlease have very strong environmental credentials and biosecurity was an important consideration for them,” says Caroline.

Larger trees, at 20-25cm and 40-45cm girth were specified for the project. This was, in part, because Lendlease had committed to attaining a certain Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT) to Southward Borough Council – through which, amenity trees are given a value as public assets. This is the first time a CAVAT commitment has been made on this scale.

A community planting day at the Newington and Draper Estates


Other vital elements of the contract award and delivery of the project were traceability and year-round delivery and planting. “The trees for this project have been selected rootball from our field tree nursery and then sent to our Broadmead container tree nursery in Hampshire,” says Caroline. “Lendlease and Gillespies have individually tagged and numbered every single tree. These trees have been called off for delivery by landscape contractor Gavin Jones by number as required, requiring expertise and due diligence from our Broadmead team.”

As a result of this detailed tagging and delivery schedule, Lendlease has been able to create a dedicated trees map for this project (www.elephantpark.co.uk/trees-map/). It shows the exact planting location and species of every single one of the 1,100 trees.

Trees planted around the Heygate Estate


Hillier is pleased to report a high success rate with planting of the project to date. Planting is due to continue until approximately 2022, when all 1,100 trees will be able to be enjoyed by residents and visitors to Southwark.

New trees planted along Rodney Road


Paula Gervey, Public Realm Development Project Manager at Lendlease, comments; “Hillier Nurseries has been working with the Lendlease team on the Elephant and Castle project for five years now. The trees supplied have all been top quality semi-mature trees that have been specifically containerised for the project. Hillier Nurseries has been very professional and offered great customer support throughout the project.”

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