NEW NATIONAL PARKS R&D
HAWORTH + HAYHOE
CITY ARCADIA COVENTRY
New National Parks creates a national park at a site of neglect, ugliness or abandonment.
In January we came to Coventry to spend a week researching and developing a park to open in Coventry in 2017. We needed to find out elements of hidden history, hidden nature and a site and a structure for our park.
Each park has walks and guides that help to navigate visitors and imaginations and create its world. Each walk is themed on an element we have discovered in the park: perhaps the walk traces the outlines of old buildings, or the spine of an existing structure or idea.
In Coventry we have created a walk and a map that takes visitors on a Natural History Tour of a city. It takes in panoramas over coal seams, the history of red sandstone, and peregrine falcons in the cathedral. It leads you around and thinks about nature in a city remade in concrete that perhaps doesn’t think of itself as very natural anymore: a city that buried its river underground and named a shopping street after the orchard it tore down. But we found that the natural, and its history, was all around, if you knew where to look.