Orchard Peace Park

Orchard Peace Park

The Orchard Peace Park is located next to St. Aidan’s Cathedral in the centre of Enniscorthy town in Wexford right alongside the river Slaney. The project was presented to us in 2015 when a simple park existed with the nuns cemetery located in it, the lower section of the park was blocked off with a stone wall and contained an overgrown field containing briars and weeds, and an overall poor look which needed an upgrade. Now the park has been revitalised allowing for a pleasant walk or an opportunity to sit and admire the view as well as an appealing route that connects Convent road and Irish street and acts as the primary park for Enniscorthy.

 

It was important to us that we were able to make the park with it being accessible to all ages. We made sure to ensure that there is a pathway to every area of the park which is disability accessible as well with gentle slopes that go through and around the park; this proved to be a challenge as the whole park is located on quite a steep slope and so designing it with this obstacle in mind took a lot of hard work. The park is designed for a relaxing walk on a hoggin granite path amongst the existing and newly planted trees, shrubs and plants such as willow and spindle. The park also contains the “Labyrinth” with a dandelion sculpture in the middle. The labyrinth is there an interesting landmark in the park, but with a kids imagination it can provide a thrilling adventure.

 

One of the most interesting features that we managed to implement was the pockets of forest gardens located throughout the park. To make these forest gardens a way for people to interact with we made them with a mix of plants and trees which have edible elements to them. We included common fruits such as apples, plums, pears, and different kinds of currants and berries, as well as vegetables like onions, leaks, and garlic, but we also tried to include some lesser known edible fruits that would spark interest in anyone who may not have known of their existence or had never tried them before, such as quince or medlar. The forest gardens were also implemented to help fill the open areas that the existing trees were not filling. There was a great effort put in to retain the mature trees which existed on site. This was done by first of all getting an extensive tree survey done by our in house arborist to help us decide on which trees were suitable to be retained, followed by well thought out planning to ensure the trees being retained would not be damaged by any construction being done on site in which a great effort was put into.

 

The main entrance on the upper end of the park by the cathedral is enclosed with black metal fencing integrated into beautiful stonework walls to help give it a natural look. The signage was custom made on steel plating with a black background and a large white font which gives the park a welcoming look. The sign was made twice; one with the name written in English, and the other in Irish, we thought this was important to emphasise the proud Irish heritage which is held so dearly in Enniscorthy. Upon entering through the gateway you are met with the beauty of the park with an astounding tree line acting as the background to the cherry sculptures which pay a tribute to the cherries grown in Enniscorthy which are sold all over Ireland.

 

One of the requirements for us was to design a UN memorial in order to remember the Irish UN soldiers who gave their lives in order to maintain peace all over the world. The memorial was already elsewhere in the town and the task was given us quite late into the project which lead to an issue of designing the new home for the memorial in a short time. However even with the time constraint we are very happy with how the memorial came out as it is in a prominent position within the park and more visible than its previous home.

Category:

Garden Design, Landscape Design, Places of Connectivity, Places of Education, Places of Meaning

Tags:
community area, Enniscorthy, landscape architecture, landscape design, landscape features, Orchard Peace Park