Suntrap Forest Educational Centre
- Client: Suntrap & London Borough of Walthamstow
- Architect: Architype
- Landscape Architecture: Staton Cohen Landscape Architecture
- M& E: Illuminous
- Business Plan: Inner Circle Consulting
- Quantity Surveyor: Gordon Hutchinson
- Location: Epping Forest
- Project Status: Business plan submitted 2018
To develop an effective approach for the future of the centre, we developed a landscape and ecology strategy by working closely with Suntrap Forest Educational Centre and Architype.
The project required a detailed review of the way the site had evolved and to establish the qualities, within the landscape, that gave the Centre its sense of place: to understand what made the site unique and a particularly special place to visit. This provided a starting point for looking at what aspects of the site required protection, investment or redesign to enhance these qualities.
By working closely with the stakeholders we were able to develop an understanding the constraints and opportunities across the site. This covered considering how this could be expanded/enhanced to develop resources and learning (including story telling), to draw visitors across the borough and elsewhere, to use the centre for accommodation and as an educational resource. All the ideas were considered in detail with the Client, including access to enhanced camping and short-stay facilities.
The project included a detailed study of the access through the site, the importance of the sequence of arrival and safeguarding for different groups using it at different times of the week and day, working within the site’s constraints and its proximity to Epping Forest.
Through the study there was consideration of the opportunities within the landscape management and ecological proposals to generate social enterprise, within the context of Epping Forest – such as selling produce, generated from the site and linking with other institutions to support the long-term viability of the Centre.