MJ Abbott

Construction of Golpla grass car park and landscaping

The National Trust, Greys Court, Henley-on-Thames

Project summary

New parking area for historic National Trust property

MJ Abbott was contracted by the National Trust to construct a new 100 bay parking area for visitor parking at Greys Court, that blended into the natural surroundings while preserving trees and natural features.

Cellweb 150 supplied by Geosynthetics Ltd was used throughout the the access track to keep excavations around trees to a minimum, and to create a natural looking gravel road on some steep terrain. This was filled with a Type 3 sub base and topped with a 10mm limestone for a natural look.

MJ Abbott are experts in the installation of Golpla® pavers, and the parking areas were created using the Golpla® Quicklay system. The reduced excavation using this method also enables tree-lined areas to be used for parking, where a conventional construction profile simply wouldn’t work due to damage to tree roots caused by the excavation needed.

The new car park is complemented by a coach turning and parking area using the Truckpave heavy duty paver in-filled with 10mm gravel.

Timber edged, self-bound gravel paths were installed linking the various parking sections and also for the re-routing of a public right of way used by ramblers which crosses the site.

MJ Abbott’s works included the cut and fill earthworks to set the parking area into an undulating and rolling hillside, the installation of 1,200m² of pre-grown Golpla® tiles, the laying of over 1,200m² Cellweb access roads, 280m² of self-bound gravel paths, planting of 21 no trees, conservation of transition kerbs between new and existing surfaces, construction of sleeper retaining walls, installation of timber bollards, gates and fencing as well as seeding and turfing on completion.

The weather and ground conditions were extremely challenging during the construction period, however the car park was ready for use when the site re-opened to visitors in early Spring 2013.

Greys Court was used by ITV as one of the locations for filming the third series of its hit period drama, Downton Abbey.