Finsbury Circus Gardens

Welcome

Welcome to the construction and community liaison website for the refurbishment of Finsbury Circus Gardens.

We are pleased that planning permission has now been granted for our proposals and we look forward to continuing to work with our closest neighbours through construction and operation.

This website will act as a hub for the local community to stay up to date on the progress of the works and to get in touch with members of the project team.

Therefore, we will be regularly updating the website with relevant information needed for our neighbours and members of the local community to stay informed on the construction process. To view our document achieve, where our community newsletters and other communication materials are stored, please see here.

Our Plans

The City of London Corporation is to implement a series of improvements to Finsbury Circus Gardens which seek to retain its character as a green haven, refresh and enrich the planting, and carefully integrate new paths and seating with the aim of creating a more inviting place for the local community to relax and enjoy.

Finsbury Circus Gardens is the largest public open space within the City of London, and with much of Gardens being used for the past decade for the construction of the nearby Liverpool Street Crossrail Station, there is an opportunity to improve and revitalise the space. Therefore, works are underway, designed by ReardonSmith Landscape, to begin transforming Finsbury Circus Gardens into tranquil and beautiful environment that encourages people to relax and dwell throughout the day, whilst significantly enhancing biodiversity in the local area.

Landscaping Plan – © Copyright Corporation of London / ReardonSmith Landscape

 

Our plans for the Gardens will:

Celebrate and enhance the heritage of the Gardens and improve the landscape setting for current and future generations.

Provide new areas of different planting types around the central lawn, with seasonal colour to enhance interest year-round and provide a higher quality publicly accessible destination fitting of the context.

Improve biodiversity by introducing a wide range of new plant and tree species and habitats for birds, bees and bats.

Enhance accessibility through the Gardens by introducing new paths and routes with more seating, whilst providing a choice of different types of seating in both shade and sun.

Introduce a new Park Office and yard for the City Gardens’ maintenance team from which to maintain the surrounding network of open spaces.

Respond to the City of London’s ambitions to improve sustainability across the City.

 

Changes to the Proposals

Since we received planning permission in 2022, we have been carefully reassessing our proposals for the future of the Gardens. Our initial plans included the provision of a pavilion building located in the north-east section of the Gardens which was intended to be used as a café. However, we have taken the decision to remove this from our proposals and instead to focus solely on the re-landscaping of the site.

We are aware of the need to bring activity into the Gardens to ensure its long-term success. Therefore, our revised proposals include dedicated space in the southern section of the Gardens, near the existing vehicular access, which can be used for food trucks or coffee carts to provide activation throughout the year. Our proposals also retain the ability for the Gardens to be used as an events space.

 

Planting and Landscaping

We want to improve biodiversity within the Gardens. As a result, we will be introducing three new planting character areas, all with distinct plant palettes that reflect their different microclimates and provide new habitats. These are as follows:

Woodland Habitat

To the west of the Gardens, we are proposing to introduce a woodland habitat under the large canopies of the existing mature London Plane trees. This will include a number of shade-loving shrubs and evergreen plants with fragrant flowers around the gateways and adjacent to bench seats to enhance the visitor experience.

The planting will provide habitat for birds, in addition, we will also be looking to include loggeries for stag beetles and insects, bat boxes and nest boxes, helping to improve biodiversity in the area.

Riverside margin planting incorporating rain gardens  

Riverside margin planting beds will reflect the Gardens’ historic relationship with the River Wallbrook. The beds in the south-eastern part of the Gardens will also function as specialised rain gardens with a sustainable drainage system (SuDS) to help mitigate the flow of surface water into the street drainage network and infiltrate the groundwater to support the trees and other planting.

Plants within this area have been selected for their ability to endure ground conditions that will vary between moist or poorly drained soil. In this area, there will be a high percentage of planting with seed heads for birds and pollinator species that will also provide visual interest for visitors.

Herbaceous Perennial Borders

Swathes of longer grass and spring bulbs around the lawn will provide colour and support for pollinators in spring. This will be followed through summer by a succession of flowering plants in the flower rich borders that edge the inner path and provide an attractive outlook from the new stone bench seats . Proposed species will be chosen from the RHS Perfect for Pollinators and Api: Cultural lists to help further improve biodiversity within the Gardens, including night-scented plants to attract moths and provide a food source for bats.

The flowers will create a palette of yellows, ochres, oranges, and dark reds around the central lawn.

Community updates

Key updates for the community on upcoming works and site progress will be posted in this section:

November 2023

The City of London are now in a position to implement these works and contractors are due to begin on site on Monday 20th November 2023. The works are scheduled to take approximately one year to complete with the Gardens scheduled to re-open in late-Autumn/early-Winter 2024.

As part of the site set-up and construction operations, we require several parking bay suspensions. These suspensions are expected to be required for the duration of the project, therefore if you believe this will affect you in any way then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team using the contact details here.

The parking bays suspended for the duration of the works will be:

  • MF9-M12 and MF23 Motorcycle Bays (North and West quadrates of the gardens)
  • F32, TRF1 E-Scooter and Cycle Rack. (From 1st Feb 2024)
  • CPLB1 Loading Bay on Circus Place

The nearest location for alternative bays:

  • Motorcycles – Northeast quadrate of the Gardens and along the eastern road off the Circus
  • E-scooters-Cycle Hire Bays – Moorfield/Moorgate station

December 2023

Please see below a four week look ahead to some of the works taking place on site in January 2024:

  • Full site establishment including access points to site
  • Complete paving removal
  • Commence soil removal and formation dig to existing lawn
  • Demolish dwarf walls to existing planters
  • Commence deep drainage works
  • Demolition of bandstand area

January / February 2024 – Works to Trees within Gardens 

On Saturday 3rd February 2024, two trees will be felled within Finsbury Circus Gardens as part of our scheduled works to improve and enhance the Gardens. A further two trees will be felled in the Northeastern section of the Gardens on Saturday 17th February 2024.

The removal of these trees forms part of the strategy that has been developed to enhance the long-term health and resilience of the tree canopy and improve the ecosystem overall. Projected improvements to the tree canopy include increased life expectancy; age range distribution; air pollution removal; carbon storage and rainfall runoff interception, and all the new trees will have some tolerance to drought to address climate change.

The selective removal of poor quality and younger trees (Plane and Lime trees) that have been planted at too close centres and in proximity to mature trees will provide the opportunity to plant 7 new trees and diversify the canopy by introducing 5 new species. The proposed new trees have been chosen to enhance the visual quality of the garden by providing seasonal colour and interest whilst contributing to the long-term improvement strategy above.

As part of these wider works, we will also begin removing some vegetation and undertaking works to the crown/canopy of a selection of internal trees on 10th February.

If you have any questions on these works, or would like any further information, please get in touch using our details here.

Community Newsletter

We will keep our neighbours informed of upcoming works via a community newsletter that will be posted to the surrounding area.

A copy of the letter sent to the local area to promote the website can be seen below:

Key document archive

In this section you will be able to find key information relating to the refurbishment of Finsbury Circus Gardens.

If the information you are looking for is not included below, or if you have any questions, please email FinsburyCircusGardens@kandaconsulting.co.uk or call 0203 900 3676 and a member of the team will happy to assist.

Project Team

Below you can find out more about the team bringing forward the works to Finsbury Circus Gardens:

The City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK.

Realm

REALM design places that delight. Their award-winning team are landscape and public realm specialists who take pride in making a positive contribution to the environment, placing people at the heart of what they do. They focus on research-led design principles to create resilient social landscape, working collaboratively across all sectors both internationally and in the UK.

Landscape. People. Places.

Studio Weave

Studio Weave is an award-winning RIBA Chartered Architecture Practice based in London that balance a joyful, open-minded approach with technical precision to create a diverse body of work in the UK and abroad for public, private and commercial clients. They are working across a range of architecture (RIBA Chartered), urban strategy, public realm design and arts projects.

Architecture 00

is a London-based design practice with a track record in delivering a broad range of activities relating to the shaping of our built environment. Founded in 2005, the studio brings together skills in action-led research, urban design strategy, architecture and wider place-making with a detailed understanding of how the physical fabric of buildings can be accompanied by innovative, engaging and collaborative delivery processes.

Maylim

Maylim is a landscape contractor specialising in both hard and soft landscaping, paving, highways and civil engineering.

Contact Us

Thank you for taking the time to visit our community liaison website for the refurbishment of Finsbury Circus Gardens.

Should you have any questions or would like to get in touch with the project team, please use the details below:

Contact form

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