Barnwell Country Park

Background Information

Barnwell Country Park is an important local green space facility owned by Northamptonshire County Council and managed by First for Wellbeing CIC. Providing easy access to the countryside is an essential aspect of the park. The project aimed to provide improved countryside access around the Country Park and the adjacent River Nene. The specifications for the path would allow access for everyone, including people in wheelchairs, especially during wetter periods of the year when the original un-surfaced paths were muddy and inaccessible.

Scope of the Project

The path works involved constructing a new 600m path around the North Lake and adjacent to the River Nene. A further 800m of the existing path was widened and re-surfaced to make it DDA compliant. Additional areas including seating areas, play areas and fishing swims were also re-surfaced to improve safety and breath a new lease of life around the parks features. The project was planned and delivered to minimising disturbance while still providing safe access to this heavily used public space.

Our Solution

The paths were made up of one layer of Type 1 granular subbase producing a heavy-duty path for use all year round. Paths were excavated using a tracked excavator along the route to a width of 2m and at a depth of 150mm. In other areas, the path was edged using softwood boards and sleepers.

Type 1 has a good distribution of stone particle sizes down to ‘fines’ that transfers the weight of path users across the ground, helping to make a durable path. The larger stones in the aggregate interlock to give the sub-base strength. The smaller stones and fines contained in the Type 1 act to infill any gaps between the larger stones and bind the material together into a strong solid mass on top of the ground.

The aggregate was imported along the course of the new paths and installed with a cross fall to provide drainage. The footpaths were then compacted using a twin drum vibrating roller.