Landscape as Infrastructure Day 2 – site visits announced

With hosts including developers, suppliers, local representatives and landscape practitioners, these site visits provide delegates with a fantastic opportunity to stretch their legs outside the conference venue and get a first-hand glimpse of current and future developments in one of the infrastructure capitals of the UK.

Let us know your preferred visits

Each delegate can attend only one visit, and spaces are limited, with places allocated on a first come, first served basis. We recommend you make your choices early to avoid disappointment!

Please email your first, second and third preferences to Events and Competitions Manager Sabina Mohideen at by 5pm on Tuesday 20 June. (If you miss this deadline, you will still be able to make your choices in person at the conference, but some visits may already be oversubscribed.)

Haven’t booked yet?

The day 2 site visits are available to delegates who have booked tickets for the whole two-day conference. Booking closes at 5pm on Friday 16 June, so if you haven’t booked yet, now is your chance.

Book your conference ticket now.

Site visits – further details

Castle Irwell flood basin, Salford

Hosts: Will Horsfall, Group Leader (Environment and Climate Change) at Salford City Council, and Connor McIlwrath, Senior Environmental Project Manager at the Environment Agency

Special requirements? Hard shoes

A new flood basin scheme in central Salford will protect 1,900 homes and businesses in an area with a long history of flooding. This part of central Salford is a major focus for regeneration and Salford City Council is working with partners, including the Environment Agency and the local community, to create an amazing new landscape feature in the heart of the city.

Occupying a dramatic loop in the river, the new flood basin provides a high quality network of paths and cycleways and features a newly created community wetland area, as well as high-quality sports pitches. Delegates will enjoy the sweeping views across the wetland from ‘Harry’s Hill’ – a new landscape feature created as part of the scheme.

Note that only 15 places are available for this visit.

  • Meeting point: Manchester Business School (the site will be accessed by coach)
  • Start time: 9am

Altrincham Town Centre

Hosts: Lindsay Humblet, Partner Lead at Planit-IE, and Hardscape

Altrincham, a market town since 1290, has been redefined with an ambitious regeneration programme. Completed in 2015, the regeneration has placed the market back at Altrincham’s heart, re-defining it as the modern market town.

Tour host Planit-IE has had a longstanding personal connection with the development proposals, having moved the practice to the town in 2009. The practice’s detailed knowledge of the town’s historic fabric underpinned the concept design for Altrincham’s Public Realm Strategy, then detailed public realm proposals. The community-led transformation of the space has attracted new use, increasing prosperity for residents and businesses alike.

Representatives from our conference partner and co-host Hardscape will be in attendance to answer technical questions about materials.

  • Meeting point: Manchester Business School (the site will be accessed by coach)
  • Start time: 9am

Jographies guided jog and run tour of Manchester

Hosts: David McKenna and the landscape team at IBI Group

Special requirements? Jogging gear

IBI Group will be hosting two guided runs through Manchester to promote the importance of urban infrastructure for exercise, and to help invigorate delegates after the Vestre reception the night before!

There will be a choice of two routes. A gentle, 3.2-mile jog will take you along the Rochdale Canal to Ancoats, then back to Piccadilly Gardens and St. Peter’s Square. If you fancy a more vigorous run, a 4.5-mile route will take in the Ashton and Rochdale Canals, Ancoats, New Islington, Noma and the City Centre.

The aim of the guided runs is to introduce delegates to some of the history and new developments on the edge of the city that they might otherwise not see. Both routes are flat, and each group will have two leaders. Depending on progress, routes can be extended or reduced, and nobody will be left behind.

Running equipment will not be provided, so delegates should be sure to bring their own. Shower facilities will be available for after the runs.

  • Meeting point: Manchester Business School
  • Start time: 9am

Retrofitting green infrastructure in a city centre context

Hosts: Pete Stringer, Special Projects Manager for Manchester City of Trees

Special requirements? None

City of Trees is a project with a simple but ambitious goal: to reinvigorate Greater Manchester’s landscape by transforming underused woodland and planting a tree for every man, woman and child who lives there, all within a generation. Under Pete, several flagship urban greening projects have been successfully completed, including orchards, community woodlands and green streets – with over 5,000 street trees retrofitted across the city to date.

Delegates will visit some of these schemes and hear from Pete himself about the reasons for the projects, the innovative planting techniques used and the benefits of the schemes, including air and water quality, climate resilience and flood management. Pete will also discuss the partnership approach to funding and delivering the schemes.

  • Meeting point: Stevenson Square, M1 1DN
  • Start time: 9.30am

Media City tour

Hosts: Paul Newman, Director of Communications at the Peel Group, and Jim Gibson, Partner at Gillespies

Special requirements? None

In the space of 10 years, MediaCityUK has become one of the UK’s most important media hubs and is now home to the BBC, ITV, Salford University and many more media and supporting businesses. It has continued the regeneration of Salford Quays, with a new landscape and public realm infrastructure at its heart. Multi-functional public spaces include a rejuvenated waterfront, a new park and a large piazza that accommodates up to 5,000 people, making it a natural focal point for major events.

Landscape architect Gillespies and developer Peel will host an exclusive tour of MediaCityUK’s public spaces, exploring how this project has reinvented acres of derelict dockland on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal into a thriving hub of events and creative activity. Gillespies partner and project landscape architect Jim Gibson and MediaCityUK’s Director of Communication Paul Newman will describe some of the challenges encountered during the project and outline how the public realm has successfully delivered a series of modern urban spaces that combine contemporary, practical usage with iconic heritage.

  • Meeting point: The Open Centre, Media City, Salford, M50 2EQ
  • Start time: 10am

Peel Park Campus, Salford University

Hosts: Chris Podmore, Director at DEP Landscape Architecture, and Hardscape

Special requirements? None

Peel Park Quarter, an £81m development at Salford University, combines student accommodation with cutting-edge university facilities via an extensive public realm. Chris will offer delegates an in-depth overview of the campus that will focus on the complexities involved in integrating the new university gateway, the Adelphi Creative Arts Building, with the extensive campus development.

The project was highly collaborative, with partners including DEP, the tour host, who designed the gateway and Adelphi Building; Hardscape, who provided 12,000 square metres of bespoke benches and paving; Aecom Manchester, who took inspiration from the design aesthetics of Amsterdam Science University for the hard landscape design and layout; and Gillespies (Manchester), who completed the design for the campus public realm.

Representatives from our conference partner and co-host Hardscape will be in attendance to answer technical questions about materials.

  • Meeting point: Manchester Business School (the site will be accessed by coach)
  • Start time: 9am

RHS Bridgewater, Salford

Host: Anna da Silva, Programme Director at RHS Bridgewater Garden

Special requirements? Sensible clothing and footwear

Get a sneak peek at the site of the future RHS Garden Bridgewater before works begin on the largest horticultural project in Europe.

The 154-acre site of Worsley New Hall is rich in heritage. It was originally the site of a grand Gothic mansion, designed by architect Edward Blore and built for the 1st Earl of Ellesmere between 1840 and 1845. The gardens were landscaped over a 50-year period and included a formal terraced garden set off with ornate fountains, landscaped parkland, a lake, woodland and an 11-acre walled kitchen garden – one of the largest in the UK. Queen Victoria visited the hall twice, in 1851 and 1857. For her first visit the Queen and her party travelled to the hall via the Bridgewater Canal, which was dyed blue in honour of her visit.

Worsley New Hall became a British Red Cross hospital during the First World War, and in the Second World War its gardens were used as training grounds by the Lancashire Fusiliers. Following a fire in 1943, this once-grand building was demolished for scrap. In subsequent years, parts of the grounds have been used as a garden centre, a Scout camp and a rifle range, but it has not been managed as a landscape for 70 years.

In partnership with Salford City Council and Peel Holdings, the RHS has just secured planning permission to transform the site into the Society’s fifth garden. Come and find out what they have planned!

Note that only 20 places are available for this visit.

  • Meeting point: Manchester Business School (the site will be accessed by coach)
  • Start time: 9am

Sadler’s Yard (NOMA)

Hosts: Kevin Redhead, Principle Landscape Architect at Planit-IE, and Hardscape

Special requirements? None

One of Manchester’s newest creative and inspirational public spaces, Sadler’s Yard – and the surrounding public realm – is part of a large-scale, £800m mixed-use regeneration scheme. At the heart of the city’s NOMA redevelopment, Sadler’s Yard is a large public square designed to serve as an inspirational setting for Manchester’s creative communities.

Kevin will talk delegates through how Landscape Architect Planit-IE married the creative buzz of the area with its heritage as a financial district. The civic space acts as a focal point for pedestrians and patrons of the many surrounding businesses, while the materials and street furniture echo the grandness and wealth of banking halls historically located in this area.

Representatives from our conference partner and co-host Hardscape will be in attendance to answer technical questions about materials.

  • Meeting point: The Pilcrow Pub, Hanover St, Manchester M60 0AB
  • Start time: 9.30am