BSc (Hons) Landscape Architecture undergraduates from University Centre Reaseheath are embarking on a unique project to help restore the grounds of a historic beach house in North Wales.
‘Ty Crwn’ lies just 50 metres from the shoreline at Pensarn, Abergele, and is on the estate of nearby Gwrych Castle, this year’s location for ITV’s reality series ‘I’m a Celebrity – Get me Out of Here!’
The Ty Crwn project follows two years of research which Landscape Architecture undergraduates have carried out in the grounds of the castle itself. The beach house, which was last used by the Countess of Dundonald for sea bathing, has recently been restored and our undergraduates have been asked to produce planting proposals for its grounds.
As Pensarn Beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), our landscape architecture undergraduates will be joined by peers from our Foundation Degree in Environmental Science for Conservation who will survey the plants and marine life in this protected ecosystem.
Gwrych Castle is a Grade I listed country house which was one of the first attempts to replicate true medieval architecture in Europe. It was purchased by Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust on behalf of the nation in 2018 and is now the subject of an ambitious 30 year restoration plan.
As part of their Conservation Management module, our undergraduates have previously undertaken desk and field studies on terraces and turrets in the grounds and on lost pathways along a wooded hillside to identify features of interest and determine their significance. The Conservation Management Plans which they produced are being used by the trust to aid and direct the ongoing restoration and management of the grounds
Gwrych Castle Chairperson Dr Mark Baker, who invited the Landscape Architecture undergraduates to return to the Gwrych Estate, said: “The research carried out by students from University Centre Reaseheath has been very valuable and will have a long term impact on the restoration plans we have for the castle and its grounds. We were delighted to be able to offer a further and very different project which will benefit the trust, its supporters and visitors.”
HE Programme Leader Craig Bailey said: “The situation of the beach house presents a unique opportunity for our undergraduates to explore and devise planting compositions in a heritage and coastal environment which also adjoins a conservation area.
“We will be looking at the unusual micro climates which have allowed unusually large Buxus trees to thrive alongside salt tolerant species and come up with planting proposals to enhance the property.
“This heritage project will be a unique addition to our undergraduates’ CVs and portfolios and is a great example of the industry-based opportunities we offer our students.”