(2022 - Ongoing)
With: 5th Studio
Client: Global Centre for Rail Excellence

JCLA are working with 5th Studio on a landscape masterplan for a 475 hectare site at the head of the Dulais and Tawe Valleys north east of Swansea, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. The site includes the former Nant Helen opencast mine and Onllwyn washery, and will establish a significant centre for railway innovation and testing.

Works include the landscape design for new supporting infrastructure including the sidings in the former washeries, a new bridge and hotel, and extensive planting and biodiversity enhancements. Proposals explore the potential to enhance drainage proposals to collect, intercept and attenuate large quantities of water to create a visible water story across the site, with amenity and ecological benefits. Connected woodland corridors / native tree planting significantly supports government aims for decarbonisation and reversing biodiversity harm. Working with the existing post-carbon landscape, proposals explore re-use of existing infrastructural elements such as washery structures, timber sleepers, tracks, rail objects to embed the site with heritage, habitats, and identity. There is also an emphasis on innovation and self-managing future landscape strategies for SuDS features, embankment stabilisation, closed loop strategies and re-use of excess spoil for the creation of landmark features and biodiverse habitats.