Landscape design and tree planting was accomplished by Rose Parker Bowles and Les Pearce who was the former curator at the respected Westonbirt Arboretum in England.
Running through the entire length of Park West is the Grand Canal; one of Ireland’s greatest engineering achievements.
In the 18th Century it was essential for industry; today it is a leisure amenity for water-craft, anglers, runners and cyclists.
The canal forms a natural border along Park West’s southern side and incorporates the Green Route – a recently upgraded 8.5km pedestrian and cycle path that offers a secure and safe alternative mode of transport for commuters and leisure users travelling to Park West.
The path incorporates the latest designs in lighting, CCTV, surfacing and landscaping to mitigate any adverse impacts on the distinct and unique ecology of the Grand Canal while providing an attractive and convenient amenity for all users.
- Lighting – over 300 lights are placed along the route, they are computer monitored and have the latest dimming systems.
- Security – 66 cameras have been installed with 24 hour CCTV monitored system.
- Leisure – fishing points, boating and berthing areas and seats are provided to encourage access to the Grand Canal.
- Natural Environment – The project is the first in Europe to dim lights to accommodate nocturnal species. Bat roosting boxes have been installed along the extent of the scheme together with underground holts which provide shelter and breeding opportunities for otters. The natural hedgerows have been reinstated with native species and the footpath and cycleway have a rural stone effect finish, instead of blacktop, to enhance its appearance.
- Signage – information signage is placed along the route outlining the history and details of the flora and fauna. Almost 200 signs provide direction and information along with 4 Smart Signs providing real time information.
Examples of the wide range of species on the Grand Canal
Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos)
Daubenton’s Bat (Myotis daubentonii)
River Otter (Lutra lutra)
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)
Pike (Esox lucius)
White-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes)
Perch (Perca fluviatilis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)