York Gate footbridge

York Gate garden is on the northern edge of Leeds in the village of Adel. Once in private ownership the house and its garden were bequeathed to Perennial in 1994 so that the beautiful garden could be visited by the public. Perennial was founded 176 years ago and is a Charity dedicated to helping, advising and supporting people in the horticultural industry who experience difficulties when times get tough.

The garden occupies a one acre site and is recognised for its innovation, style and craftsmanship. It is comprised of 14 different gardens or 'rooms'. The need for the footbridge was an opportunity to connect the existing garden to adjoining land which was separated by a 'ha ha'. This was part of a larger overhaul of the house and gardens to improve amenities for visitors.

Shanet Alexander, a garden designer working with Perennial, came up with an initial design using the arts and crafts style as inspiration to reflect both the garden and the house. The drawings were made into an architectural model and the designs accepted.

It was at this point that Hargreaves Lock Gates got involved. Nigel Lord of Lock Gates worked closely with Shanet to interpret her design and realise it in oak and steel. Nigel and his team undertook construction back in the workshop at Sowerby Bridge.

The bridge is 8 metres long and 3 metres wide. It is a composite structure made with FSC approved oak and galvanised steel cross members. The size of the completed bridge meant that it had to be made in two separate halves to allow for transportation. It took four weeks in the workshop to construct and Nigel and his team also installed it on site. The site work included digging out and preparing the concrete footings before lifting and jointing the two halves in situ. The entire installation took three days to complete.

Brendan Mowforth of Perennial, who was the overall project manager, said that the bridge "needed to be a significant structure, but one that would complement the house and garden". Shanet Alexander said that "Hargreaves interpreted the design brief really well and paid great attention to the detail". Brendan Mowforth added that "the trustees of Perennial recently visited the gardens and were delighted with the finished result." The bridge will be in use for visitors next year, after some final landscaping work.

(you can find out more about York Gate Gardens by following this link); http://perennial.org.uk/garden/york-gate-garden/