Scunthorpe Sports Academy and Park

Biodiversity by Design was part of the winning team led by Andrew Wright Associates in the national competition to re-invigorate the main park in Scunthorpe and deliver a new and vibrant Sports Academy at its heart.

Working with Buro Happold and Grant Associates, we provided the ecological inputs to park enhancement, new landscape creation, drainage design, and green architecture to deliver ecological functionality in ways that are innovative, educational and spectacular.

Research findings on the links between biodiversity and health and well-being, as well as biomimicry were focal in informing our ecological design inputs. We also provided all necessary ecological inputs to the BREEAM assessment.

A key intervention and innovation was our proposal for the creation of ‘habitat analogues’ based on the nationally renowned Lincolnshire Coversands heathlands, arranged around the new sports centre, providing not only an attractive landscape but also opportunities for environmental education. Detailed habitat creation advice was provided in relation to acid grass heath, calcareous grass heath, dry heath, wet heath, wet woodland, heathland scrub and local freshwater habitat types. We also provided information on the autecology of associated fauna as inspirations for artwork and displays.

The primary aim was to inform those visiting the park of the rich heritage of biodiversity in the surrounding countryside - a key step towards fostering greater awareness and respect for the region’s natural heritage and combating ‘locational autism’ - a phenomenon of ‘psychological blockage’ through lack of meaningful connection with the special aspects of one’s surroundings that can be associated with many limitations to human productivity and creativity.

Ultimate Client
Scunthorpe Borough Council

Proximate Client
Andrew Wright Associates

Design Team Leader
Andrew Wright Associates

Andrew Wright Associates

Landscape Architect
Grant Associates

Civil Engineer
Buro Happold


Site Area
25-100 Hectares

Winner - Green Apple Award for Sustainability 2012.
Public Realm Award 2012 - Sustain Magazine.
Runner-up in the Culture category for ’Make a Difference in Yorkshire and Humber’ Awards 2012.
Best Community Project - LABC Building Excellence Awards 2012