Located on the banks of the River Wandle in Morden, South London, Morden Hall Park is a National Trust property that offers a wonderful, green oasis in the city. Covering more than 125 acres, the parkland is extensive as well as scenic, and we completed a project that included 250 metres of boardwalk, where the posts were made of oak and the deckings were made of larch, in addition to a viewing platform, and a pond dipping platform, both designed to encourage children to engage children with nature.
This project called for a 250 metre boardwalk that connected two paths either side of a wetland. The boardwalk itself is 1.6 metres wide (with 1.5 metres being useable) and has 75mm high toeboards either side. There are several extension points and wide sections along the length of the boardwalk, allowing child push chairs and wheelchairs to pass each other easily and safely, making the boardwalk inclusive for all.
The boardwalk features a raised viewing platform which allows visitors to look out over the wetlands and the main feature of the boardwalk is a dipping platform, allowing access to the water and allowing children to become engaged in nature. Frogs, newts, and wetland birds are common in this area, and the project intends to encourage children to become interested in nature, utilising the dipping platform as a key focus on school trips.
Due to the width of the boardwalk, it is not suitable for bicycles and pedestrians, so includes bicycle barriers at the entrance.
As with every project we do, we only used sustainably sourced timber during the construction of this project as it is our policy to not use materials that do not have authentic sustainability credentials. We consider the FSC to be a genuine guarantee of sustainability, and we find that locally produced softwood and hardwood satisfies our standards and those of our clients.
We are incredibly proud of the boardwalk, viewing platform, and dipping platform that we made at Morden Hall Park. They are finished to a high level, fit naturally into the landscape, and are hardy enough that they will be around for the enjoyment of countless people for many years to come.
Featuring a viewing platform, passing places, and a dipping platform, this is a truly accessible boardwalk that has vast offerings for multiple generations, and we feel it encapsulates the spirit of The Wild Deck Company and the high quality work that we do.
Please take a moment to look through the photos of the completed project. If you continue reading through this page, you will find more information on the project such as the project timeframe, the materials that we used, and some safety features that we incorporated into the design.
The whole project had to be completed on a very tight deadline of six weeks from start to finish – and we only had one week to prepare all of our materials before the installation started. All of these factors combined to make it a very intensive project that allowed no room for error.
This project used 64 tonnes of timber, featuring oak post and joists, and larch deckings. In the week before we started the installation, the larch was sawn, kiln dried, profiled, and grip decked, in preparation for fitting.
We carried the 64 tonnes of timber in by hand and worked solidly on site for six weeks, finishing the installation the day before the grand opening.
As you can see from the image, there is an awful lot of work that goes into every metre of decking, starting from the preparation of the timbers through to the installation of posts, joists, handrails, and deckings.
When making structures in wetland areas in the presence of bodies of water, safety is of the utmost importance. We installed double safety barriers around the viewing platform to minimise the risk of falls and fitted bicycle barriers at the entrance to the boardwalk to prevent cyclists from entering the boardwalk, as the boardwalk is not wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians to use at the same time. Passing places allow wheelchairs and child push chairs to pass each other comfortably without the risk of falling. Every piece of decking includes two strips of grip material that we added to maximise grip on the wood, especially when wet.
We finished the project just in time – the very day before the grand opening!
We were delighted to see so many people turn up for the opening ceremony and to hear so much positive feedback about the new installation. There were children and parents, lots of cameras, and even a big, red ribbon that had to be cut!
We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work on this project and demonstrate what it is that we at The Wild Deck Company can do, and we hope that it continues to offer great levels of enjoyment for many years to come.
This is just one example of what it is that we can do, but it incorporates several important features of a wetland area: a boardwalk, a dipping platform, and a viewing platform. We look forward to working on further and more diverse projects and invite you to challenge us with your ideas – if you can dream it, we can make it.
We’re very proud of how our creations fit organically into natural surroundings. Several months after completing the installation we returned (mid winter) to see how things were looking. As intended, the timbers had softened down to subtle hues and nature was thriving all around the structures.
If you would like to discuss your own potential project with The Wild Company, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Our creations range from following strict construction plans, right through to designing everything from scratch (which we love to do), so whatever stage in the design process you are at for your own particular project, give us a call or send us an email and we would be happy to discuss further.
You might be interested in taking a look at some of our other creations: