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Finalists Announced for St Cuthbert’s Garden Village Greenway

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AFL Architects has been named as a finalist for the St Cuthbert’s Garden Village Greenway Landscape Competition.

The open competition was launched by Carlisle City Council and the Landscape Institute earlier this year. The winning design team, determined by a two-stage process, will be commissioned for a new Greenway and Park to form the centrepiece of St Cuthbert’s Garden Village communities in the south of Carlisle.

The team, led by AFL’s Matt Quayle, Ross Pritchard and Joss Stott, were one of three shortlisted. They will now progress to stage 2, due to submit on the 26th November 2021. The overall winner will be announced on 17 January 2022.

AFL is already involved in another initiative within the locality and context of the new Garden Village - Carleton Clinic, together with Genesis Homes.

"Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire."
Gustav Mahler

AFL's shortlisted design, St Cuthbert's Monastic Gardens​, reinterprets and integrates the site’s rich heritage into a 21st Century Garden Village.

St Cuthbert was a monk, bishop and hermit associated with the monasteries of Melrose and Lindisfarne. His message of spirituality and the importance of the conservation of the natural world became known as the spreading of the ‘Fire of the North’. This message is reinvigorated and expressed through the new Monastic Gardens.

The gardens are the embodiment of a sustainable new world in which agrarian and spiritual tradition is fused with technology and placemaking. Self-reliance and resilience is promoted through:

  • High yield organic food and vertical farms
  • Self reliance in water supply and processing
  • Solar and wind energy production
  • Green spaces that embed the learning and practice of traditional farming, land management and monastic gardening
  • Green-collar employment, education, training and profitable green industries
  • Green spaces, places and stewardship models
  • A green and blue infrastructural framework as a quality benchmark for post-COVID lifestyles
  • Biodiversity net gain across the site with the introduction of local BAP target Habitats
  • Places for art, expression, creativity, spirituality and mindfulness
"We are thrilled to be named as finalists for this important initiative. To ‘Start with the Park’ is to develop and share Carlisle City Council's vision with other local partners. It is a genuine commitment to the values and principles of a resilient, meaningful and coherent 21st Century Garden Village."
Matt Quayle, Senior Associate Urban Designer, AFL Architects

A series of five connected landscapes promotes environmental, social and economic self-reliance.

The five Monastic Gardens are linked by and experienced through journeys along connective watercourses, walkways and routes representative of St Cuthbert’s journeys and message. They build on proposed and already established development to create themes based around nature, leisure, community, education and farming.

America Meadows, adjacent to the River Caldew and tributary watercourses, provides a combined productive landscape with hop yards and sequential wetland habitat, the promotion of biodiversity and the formation of routes and places to encourage mindfulness.

Peasetree Fields draws from the proximity of both the Carlisle Racecourse proposed local centre and Durdar Village, providing new parkland recreational and leisure facilities.

Woodpark Gardens is adjacent to the existing settlement at Durdar and new potentially denser neighbourhoods within the masterplan. It is therefore the intensive open space heart of the Garden Village, providing a focus for community interaction and celebration and a locus for visitor attraction and facilities.

Durdarclose Fields’ proximity to a proposed new school creates the impetus for an environmental training and educational centre. Fruit and vegetable gardens, a cooking and nutrition school, and Forest School would champion outdoor learning.

Netherton Meadows reinstates and develops working farms and commercial forests, reintroducing former hedgerows, boundaries, copses and watercourses. A Farm Shop, café / restaurant and pick your own orchards will attract visitors and strengthen the local economy.

All three finalist’s submissions will be showcased at a public exhibition at Carlisle Racecourse on Tuesday 19 October. In the meantime, all entries can be viewed at


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