Silkstream Park and Montrose Playing Fields are contiguous public open spaces in the Colindale area of Barnet. As the most significant public open space in Colindale, the two parks had the potential to support a sustainable new community and provide a range of ecosystem services that will sustain this new community.

By using natural capital metrics we were able to build sustainability principles into the project from the outset. We extensively re-profiled the valley of the Silk Stream, removing revetment edges and softening the riparian zone with continuous marginal planting. This slows the flow rate of the river, enhances water quality and supports enhanced biodiversity along the valley.

Arkwood led a design team of engineers, quantity surveyors and hydrologists to deliver a transformative scheme. The self-evident success of the new park has been reinforced throughout the Covid 19 pandemic, which has seen a steep rise in the use of these parks. The completed parks have shown resilience in the face of this challenge, despite restrictions imposed by lockdown on post-completion maintenance.

Throughout the 4 years of the project, we demonstrated an exceptional commitment, constantly seeking to enhance its value and reinforce the outcomes that it provides. We developed a strong relationship with the client and key stakeholders and demonstrated our willingness to go the extra mile to deliver success. We worked collaboratively with the appointed contractor and completed the project on time and to budget, including the late inclusion of a new park hub building which constituted a major extension to scope.

The new parks are now the green centrepiece of the Colindale regeneration area and is a well-connected, refreshed and heavily used public space that focuses on the needs of local residents.   The park will continue to deliver benefits in respect of health and wellbeing, flood risk management, urban warming and air quality mitigation. It’s also a place to take a deep breath and re-connect with nature.

Silkstream Park/Montrose Playing Fields are now places that are full of hope and optimism. They are ready to provide vital green space and ecosystem services at a time when the importance of natural capital to national renewal has come sharply into focus.