STIHL Treetop Walkway, Westonbirt

Structural Designer

BuroHappold Engineering

Client Name

Forestry Commission


Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK


Glenn Howells Architects


PMP Consultants


Speller Metcalfe


SH Structures

Images: © BuroHappold


The UK's longest treetop walkway at 280m, this project is the crowning glory of redevelopment at Westonbirt Arboretum, opening up new vistas and helping visitors learn more about trees.

The structure consists of 57 crossing timber legs, machined to a gently tapering cigar shape from solid larch and Douglas fir sections. The legs support a flowing timber and steel walkway.

Judge's comment:

The judges were impressed with the sensitivity of the walkway to its environment and its adaptability to fit supports around existing tree roots.  The vertical tie arrangement provides an elegant solution enabling lateral loads to be sustained whilst avoiding the complexities of connecting the timber legs.