News and Updates

Category: Community

23 March 2018

Brook Leys parkland opens

A new parkland as part of the North West Cambridge Development is opening to the public. Brook Leys, near the centre of the University of Cambridge’s new district Eddington, consists of open green spaces and pathways around the new lake on the western edge of the development and opens on 29 March.

Heather Topel, Project Director for the North West Cambridge Development said: “Covering approximately 11 hectares in the first phase of development, Brook Leys is a new parkland for the public to enjoy.

“Paths for recreational use, public art and the lake provide an ambient setting for residents and the wider community to enjoy. In addition to the generous open space, the lake assists with the overall sustainability ambitions for the development by providing opportunities for biodiversity enhancements and the country’s largest rainwater harvesting system. We hope that visitors will find Brook Leys a pleasant and enjoyable as well as educational space.”

The heart of the water recycling network

Holding up to 6m litres of water, the Brook Leys lake is an integral element of the development’s rainwater harvesting system. The development includes a Sustainable Urban Drainage System with landscaping – including swales and green fingers – which sees rainwater travelling through the site with gravity being naturally cleaned and directed towards the lake. The water is then treated and used as non-potable water by the residents at Eddington for tasks such as flushing toilets, washing clothes and watering plants.

It is hoped that the non-potable water supply will cut the clean water consumption to 80 litres per person per day (compared to Cambridge average of 150 litres per person per day). The lakes and flood plains also provide opportunities to mitigate against the risk of flooding to the downstream village of Girton by controlling how quickly water flows into the Washpit Brook and surrounding areas.

Public Art within the Landscape

Also located at Brook Leys are two pieces of Public Art, created by artists Winter and Hoerbelt. Pixel Wall is a curved wall with a mirrored surface which distorts the reflection of the landscape, while Fata Morgana Teahouse is a steel pavilion that invites audiences to enter and see the area from a new perspective.

Winter and Hoerbelt worked with the landscape architects in the early stages of the design of Brook Leys, creating the sculptures around the idea of a ‘wanderer’, someone who journeys without destination or purpose instead focusing on their perception and experience of their surroundings.

Brook Leys is open to the public as of March 29.

Brook Leys at Eddington
Brook Leys is the new parkland at Eddington
The Fata Morgana Tea House stands near the lakes as a Public Artwork
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