lincolnshire police memorial garden

Lincolnshire Police held a national competition to design and implement a Memorial Garden which Parkwood Consultancy Services and its epd business won. The garden remembers and celebrates those officers who lost their lives during service. epd designed and managed our in house contractors throughout the implementation of this key project for the police and local community.

When Val Hills, a local Lincolnshire lady, left the Lincolnshire Police force a large bequest in her will, a sum of nearly one hundred thousand pounds. Chief Constable Neil Rhodes had a dilemma about what to do with the money. Whatever the money was used to do, it needed to do justice to Val and her husband Burt, and ensure that their generosity was remembered in a lasting legacy.

The forces decision was to build a new bespoke memorial garden, one that ensures those from the policing family, who died whilst in service are remembered with the reverence that they deserve, and one that will stand the test of time.

Parkwood Consultancy Services and its epd team responded to the design competition to create and deliver a memorial garden which served as a place of contemplation and was relevant to it setting at the Police HQ. This competitive competition was awarded to epd Parkwood in the middle of 2016 and opened in January 2017 by the Bishop of Lincoln Rt Revd Christopher Lowson and the ribbon cut by Lord Lieutenant for Lincolnshire Tony Dennis who cut the ribbon with Chief Constable Neil Rhodes to officially open the garden.

The garden features nine pillars, representing each one of Sir Robert Peel’s Principles of Policing, which are a fitting reminder of the standards that Lincolnshire Police hold themselves to everyday. From each of those principles a single word was chosen for each pillar: Prevention, Approval, Cooperation, Proportionate, Impartiality, Restorative, Relationships, Humility and Integrity.

The design although seemingly simple contains a lot of underlying symbolism which adds to the sense of restfulness and stillness the garden is trying to create. The overarching feeling when visiting the garden should be one of peace and solitude, a time for reflection and for those who are visiting it to remember a loved one, one of pride in the duty they performed. To this end, much of the design is based on the ‘golden ratio’ whose proportion underlie much of the ratios and proportions of the natural world. Simplistically used a ratio of 1:1:618 and the walls reflect this (1200mm wide and 1900mm in height), subconsciously this accords a harmonious proportion and imbues a restfulness to the viewer. The text on the walls represent, as far as it can in one word, the 9 pillars of policing espoused by Sir Robert Peel in 1829, these are simple, subtle and powerful.

In undertaking the commission to make it more relevant to the wider public we crown lifted some of the entrance trees to allow views to the memorial for anyone passing. The only planting works undertaken were the yew trees (21 in number to represent one for each century, this being the twenty-first), these yews will stand to attention for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week paying respect to those remembered by the memorial.

The sculpture symbolises the community, working as one, doing their bit in keeping the community together with the underpinning sense of right and wrong, represented by the steel rods up through the centre of the piece, guiding and working with them for a better, healthier more fulfilling life.

The material used in the construction of the walls and surface were all sourced and bought locally, again this reflects the local landscape, and contributes to its sense of place and harmony and being indigenous to the area, naturally becomes a part of the landscape fabric.

Overall epd are extremely pleased the Lincolnshire Police constabulary are so happy with the final Memorial garden. As Landscape Architects we strive to achieve meaningful designs which are true to both the aspirations of the client but also the landscape and we feel that this has been achieved in this garden and will stand as a worthwhile legacy to those remembered but also provide a quiet place to contemplate for staff, visitors and the general public who visit and spend time there.

“The team at Parkwood have done an outstanding job in bringing the design to life. The professionalism and quality of the workmanship is a testament to the dedication that was invested.”

Chief Constable, Neil Rhodes

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