HDA ecologists and landscape architects led the design of a 40ha ‘Super SANG’ at Edenbrook, Fleet in Hampshire. The SANG was created to off-set the adverse effects of recreational pressure arising from new housing development on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA). The SANG provides a variety of wetlands, flood meadows and open water managed for recreation, in particular dog walking, and nature conservation.
HDA worked closely with Natural England, the Local Authority and Berkeley Community Villages throughout the design and construction period to ensure their expectations and requirements were met. The scheme, now well-established, is widely regarded as an exemplary scheme for the provision of SANGS in the region affected by the Thames Basin Heaths and other internationally designated sites. Berkeley see the new park as a key part of the development enhancing the experience of their purchasers and providing an attractive recreational resource ‘on the door step’.
SANG design requires a minimum of a 2.3km walking route and off-the-lead access for dogs set in a natural and green environment which provides an attractive alternative to using the Thames Basin Heaths for dog walking. Edenbrook provides such an experience, its layout includes a series of fields in pasture and wetlands which can be selectively grazed or cut for hay whilst maintaining open access across large areas of the park for recreation. A small grassed amphitheatre and picnicing area provide a focus for the local community activities, whilst bird hides and screens in quieter areas of the park afford views of the local wildlife and birds.
In addition to HDA’s involvement in the design and construction of the SANG we have prepared a long term management plan and agreed costings for the maintenance of the site, for the next 70 years, with the Local Authority. With the growth of residential development to the south of the park the SANG is set to expand further along the River Hart consolidating open space and the recreational potential of the Hart river floodplain.