Wakehurst Wetland Boardwalk

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Nature: Past, Present, Future

Wakehurst is an expansive wild botanic garden managed by Kew Royal Botanic Society that we are proud to have contributed to. The site offers more than 500 acres of ornamental gardens, woodlands, and a nature reserve, showcasing the beauty of West Sussex.

Wakehurst is also home to Millenium Seed Bank, an incredibly visionary project that endeavoured to preserve seeds from all of the UK’s native species. It achieved this incredible feat in 2009 and has since set its sights on preserving 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020, helping to safeguard against future plant extinctions. As described by HRH, The Prince of Wales, Wakehurst is ‘A gold reserve…a place where this reserve currency, in this case life itself, is stored.’

aerial kew wakehurst oak wetland boardwalk

A Wetland Boardwalk For All

Our brief at Wakehurst was to make an accessible wetland boardwalk that would fit into the natural surroundings whilst standing up to the elements. We used more than 90 tonnes of locally sourced, FSC certified oak to create more than 300 metres of raised boardwalk complete with safety rails and an assortment of seating. The boardwalk curves naturally through the beautiful wetlands with nothing more challenging than gentle inclines to make it accessible for all visitors.

Oak is a durable timber that requires no harmful chemical treatments – giving it a natural look – yet will be around for many years to come. Using locally sourced, FSC timber is kind to the environment, something we strongly believe in, and very much in line with Wakehurst’s mission to safeguard nature for all. We are proud to have made an environmentally sustainable structure that allows the enjoyment of nature for all.

The Finished Boardwalk

The finished creation blends into the natural environment, connecting different parts of the wetland. See how they look from ground level and from above in the images of the completed boardwalk, below.

bridge kew wakehurst oak wetland boardwalk

The finished boardwalk traverses waterways, making nature accessible for all

pergola kew wakehurst oak wetland boardwalk

Nature is flourishing all around the boardwalk and will continue to do so

kew wakehurst oak wetland boardwalk

Safety rails and benches have been incorporated in the design

front kew wakehurst oak wetland boardwalk

The boardwalk connects different parts of the wetland

How Did We Build It?

Working in a wetland with multiple waterways is always a challenge, but something that we relish, offering unparalleled satisfaction upon project completion. Below is a small overview of different parts of the construction process which unfolded over several months.

posts wakehurst kew boardwalk work in progress

Posts are driven into the ground

supports wakehurst kew boardwalk work in progress

Support beams are fitted

wetland wakehurst kew boardwalk work in progress

Joists are fitted

bridge kew wakehurst oak boardwalk wip

Metalwork reenforces large gaps

laying decking

Boards are laid

decking kew wakehurst oak boardwalk wip

Safety rails are fitted

wooden roof pergola work in progress 1

Structures are assembled

shelter roof kew wakehurst wip

Finishing touches are applied

wetland boardwalk kew wakehurst wip

We wait for nature to reclaim the landscape

Commission Your Own Wetland Boardwalk

This is one of the many wetland boardwalks we have made over the years. Please take a look at some of our other wooden boardwalks for further inspiration and get in touch with us if you wish to discuss your own project. No matter whether you have a loose idea of what you need, or strict plans that need to be followed, we are here to guide you through every step of the process from initial concept and design through to project completion.