Winner 2021

Award for
Small Projects of under £3 million

Project Description

An elegant and elevated woodland walkway. The design took a sensitive approach to the environment, ensuring minimal impact on the natural forest floor. To achieve this, columns are supported on tripods on steel piles and manufactured to individual bespoke dimensions. Its winding layout is designed to avoid all the trees in the forest canopy.

Judge’s comments

This elevated woodland walkway glides through the trees. The route was planned using a comprehensive 3D cloud survey of the forest so that not a single tree would be affected. 

The project team worked hard to minimise forest floor interventions. Steel piles were used rather than conventional concrete bases for the column foundations, their positions carefully chosen to avoid tree roots. Tripods above the ground were used to connect the columns onto the piles, rather than conventional pile caps, thus avoiding the use of any concrete in the forest. 

The project is a charming example of how a sensitive approach and diligence during the design and construction processes can create something of enduring beauty. 

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Henry Fagan & Partners

Client Name

  • Mr Koos Bekker, The Newt in Somerset


  • Castle Cary, UK


  • Mark Thomas Architects

Principal Contractor

  • Beard

Key Contractors

  • Bernard James & Partners – Quantity Surveyor

    Stonewood Design – Project Managers

    Prokon Services – Steelwork Contractor SA

    MJ Patch & Co – Steelwork Contractor UK

    H G Holliday – Timber Work Contractor 

Year Submitted

  • 2020