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21 June 2005

A new landmark for the East of England – a positive result for the Landscape East team involving Mott MacDonald

The Landscape East (1) project team – of which Mott MacDonald is a member - is delighted to learn that it received strong support from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) (2) following the recently completed feasibility study to create a new landmark for the East of England, which will include the exciting Bridge of Reeds.

Philip Broadbent-Yale, Area Manager for the National Trust, explains, ‘The Landscape East Partnership is thrilled to have concluded a successful feasibility study and is very encouraged that EEDA is so positive about the Bridge of Reeds and the benefits the whole Landscape East project could bring for the region with improved access to the countryside. The partnership is looking forward to working with EEDA to develop this imaginative project’.

The design of the Bridge of Reeds and its connections to the wider landscape has been led by a nationally renowned design team at LDA Design. Design team leader, Robert Tregay, describes the bridge concept: ‘The Bridge of Reeds is over 50 metres high. The three soaring masts from which the deck is suspended are inspired by the shapes of wind-blown reeds to form the centre piece of the landmark’. Sara Mark, project artist from LDA Design, sees the bridge as being, ‘a piece of sculpture that celebrates the natural environment; the wide skies, flocks of birds and shimmering reed beds – something that everyone will recognise as special to the region, and take to their hearts.’

In addition to the iconic bridge located across the A14, Landscape East provides access to the wider countryside of the region through a network of cycle ways and footpaths to 6,000ha of recreated fenland habitat that forms the National Trust's vision for Wicken Fen (3) – a unique new leisure opportunity for residents and visitors to the city of Cambridge, and an important ecological reserve for the whole region.

Don Hutchinson, leading Mott MacDonald’s engineering services and project management role within Landscape East, is hugely enthusiastic about the project. “Our team in Cambridge is very excited at having the opportunity to contribute to this visionary project. The Bridge of Reeds will provide a stunning focus for civic pride in our region – as well as showcasing imaginative design at its best – and the overall project will bring many valuable social and environmental benefits for a wide range of people.”

Ends

Note to the editors
1. The Landscape East project team is a collaboration between the following organisations:
- National Trust in the East of England – a major land-owning conservation and heritage charity
- Greater Cambridge Partnership – a strategic economic development partnership for the Greater Cambridge area covering an approximate 25 mile radius from Cambridge and including Huntingdon, Ely, St. Neots, Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Saffron Walden, Haverhill and Royston
- The Marshall of Cambridge Group of Companies – a major business with about 3,500 employees in the region and strong community links
- LDA Design – a nationally recognised design and environmental practice. Design team led by Professor Robert Tregay
- Mott MacDonald – an international company with a strong local presence in Cambridge providing project management and engineering services

2. The Landmark East competition was launched by East of England Development Agency (EEDA) in October 2003. Four projects, including landscape east, received funding from EEDA for feasibility studies. For more details of Landmark East competition visit www.landmarkeast.org.uk

3. The National Trust sees the Landscape East project as a high profile link with its long term vision for Wicken Fen, which aims to provide much needed fenland habitat and at the same time accommodate green spaces for recreational opportunities.

Bridge of Reeds image from LDA Design with Alan Baxter Associates – photographer © Andrew Putler
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