Ariel view of Botanic Gardens walkway, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Sustainable wood used to create rising path.

Accoya selected by prestigious Cambridge University for Unique botanic gardens project


United Kingdom

Aerial view from above at the Cambridge botanic gardens. The rising path is made from accoya wood and goes around in a full circle.


Unique design

Accoya® wood was specified for an integral part of the ‘Understanding Plant Diversity’ project in Cambridge University’s Botanic Gardens, one of the largest university-owned botanic gardens in the world.  Chadwick Dryer Clarke was appointed as the project lead to create a path structure to inspire and intrigue visitors. ‘The Rising Path’, a galvanised steel structure clad with Accoya® wood balustrades and decking, was created to meet the brief.

The 65 metre long dynamic spiral, has a three-metre high elevated viewpoint, and features an interpretation hub designed to inspire visitors to explore the garden’s Systematic Beds, offering new ways to explore the science of plant taxonomy.

The balusters were 38x100mm sections, end sealed with Osmo and grain sealing wax.  Over 1,300 linear metres of non-slip Accoya® wood decking supplied by Gripsure was installed in four meter lengths and cut down to 22x142mm sections. It also has two non-slip strips and stair treads with special contract edges, as well as a series of bespoke non-slip resin supergraphics where letters and numbers, each corresponding to a different aspect in the evolution of plants, are routed into the deck, for both aesthetic and educational appeal.


The rising path at the botanic gardens, Cambridge. The path is surrounded by trees.
The rising path at the Botanic gardens, Cambridge. Full external view.

“During the development of the design we considered various types of wood, and it was Sustainable Building Advisor, Alexander Reeve, from the Cambridge University Estates Department who first suggested Accoya® wood due to its outstanding environmental qualities.”


Robin Dryer – Director of Chadwick Dryer Clarke

People looking out at the Botanic Gardens, Cambridge.

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