ICE People's Choice Award 2021 winner revealed 

The people have spoken - and the project to restore a historic botanic garden in Wales has been crowned winner.

National Botanic Garden of Wales Regency Restoration is the winner of the 2021 Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award.
National Botanic Garden of Wales Regency Restoration is the winner of the 2021 Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales Regency Restoration project has won the 2021 ICE People's Choice Award.

The annual award recognises civil engineering projects that have made a positive impact on their local communities.

The restoration project, which took five years to complete at a cost of more than £7 million, is the largest of its kind undertaken in Wales and included two new lakes, bridges, dams, cascades, a waterfall and an extensive network of paths, all set in 300 acres of wooded parkland.

Ed McCann, the 157th ICE President, said: “This is a great achievement for all involved at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. It is a wonderful example of sensitive and intelligent design. The project shows respect for the environment and the interests of the local community and both creates and restores spaces that enable and support human and ecological wellbeing.

McCann added: “This year’s shortlisted projects all show a clear focus on sustainability and innovation, which is critical as we face up to the challenges of the 21st century.”

Restoring Regency period landscape

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is located off the A48 in Carmarthenshire between the villages of Porthyrhyd and Llanarthne.

The restoration project’s aim was to restore features of a Regency period landscape, created in the late 18th and early 19th century in what is now Waun Las National Nature Reserve.

It promoted local procurement from the early planning stages, engaging with consultant ecologists, designers, and engineers during construction. Its extensive works included lake and reservoir creation, dam reconstruction and new water control infrastructure, six footbridges and extensive footpaths.

The team behind this winning project included the contractor, WM Longreach, key design and project management from Mann Williams, Nicholas Pearson Partnership LLP, Caroe and Partners Architects and HR Wallingford- Reservoir Engineer.

Damian McGettrick, director and principal contractor at WM Longreach, said: “We are extremely proud to have been part of the passionate, dedicated project team that delivered the Regency restoration and thrilled that all our efforts have been recognised internationally by the public in this way.”

The People’s Choice Award 2021 shortlist

The other five projects that were up for this year’s award were:

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