Fernhill is being developed under a detailed sustainability strategy that has been developed by dlr. The strategy is underpinned by the concept of ‘light touch’, where the site dictates the design. It also includes power generation, the development of a Community Garden, and many other exciting sustainable innovations that will happen as the park develops.
Development works have included the resurfacing of the historic Broadwalk, and new fencing surrounding the paddocks. The timber used was sourced in Wicklow, and its unique design was inspired by the natural timber posts of the house. The old field gates have been restored and any new gates have been sourced from salvage. Three rare Irish Droimeann cattle have also been brought in to graze the paddocks.
New planting has taken place at several points around the park. All the plants are unusual varieties that were specially chosen from the Bloom 2018 Gold Medal Show Garden to reflect the unique character of the park. After Bloom concluded, the plants were brought to Fernhill and planted out at selected locations.
A pedestrian entrance has been built at the Belarmine roundabout, which has been designed to resemble a fern. There is a long history of quarrying and stonemasonry in the local area and the new entrance reflects this character through the random rubble walls built by a local stonemason, and the granite paving. The gates also reflect historic field gates in the local area, and were built by a master blacksmith using traditional techniques.
The Community Garden is an ongoing project. Community engagement, the establishment of a community gardening group, and the refurbishment of the kitchen garden, are all ongoing.
Later in 2019 Phase Two of the project will allow for vehicular access to the park. A sports pavilion and sports field are also being constructed. Other design work that has begun includes an ambitious Natural Woodland Play Area, a new café in the old coach house, and a three-storey tower block. The tower block, which will provide staff and community amenities and also toilet facilities, has a roof terrace with stunning views over the coast of Dublin.
The park will open on a full seven day-a-week basis starting from 15 March.