Aerial walkway will include timber treehouses

Cullinan Studio has won planning for the UK’s longest aerial walkway.

The 400m long treetop walkway will be built to link two halves of Conkers, a forest park in Leicestershire which is currently divided by railway lines.

The walkway, designed with Arup, will be composed of a galvanised steel structure, guarding of weathered steel fins and non-slip galvanised steel decking formed in a triangular pattern to accommodate the double curved geometry.

Described by the architects as a “ribbon floating through the treetops”, the walkway will include three “treehouses” at viewpoints along the route.

They will be capable of accommodating more than 40 children. Formed from a timber gridshell and clad in timber shingles, these covered spaces can be used for events.

The walkway will widen at a number of points to create resting places. Educational boards will inform visitors about the surrounding trees and the site’s history.

The 280-acre park was previously a mine and the transformation of the scarred landscape into part of the National Forest has been much praised.

The walkway will improve connectivity between two areas of the park that are separated by the Ivanhoe Mineral Railway line.

An earth rampart at one end of the walkway connects with existing paths and forms an amphitheatre next to the lakeside that can be used for a wide variety of events, such as storytelling sessions.