Sparsholt College Garden Design Student Redesigns Gateway to Winchester

Press Release: 29/03/2011

Roundabout design by Richard Townsend

One of the key gateways to Winchester will receive a design overhaul by Richard Townsend, a Sparsholt College Foundation Degree Garden Design student. The collaboration between the College and Winchester City Council saw a number of students submit designs for the Easton Lane Roundabout on the Winnall Trading Estate, with Richard’s concept selected as the winning design by the Council’s Landscape and Open Spaces Department.

The students were briefed with creating a memorable focal point for one of the key entrance points to the City and to improve the appearance of the Easton Lane Roundabout. Naturally, as a highway, there were a number of important constraints to factor in such as visibility requirements and creating designs that require minimal ongoing maintenance.

Richard, who is based in Winchester and is currently setting up his own garden design company, based his design on both the history of the City, as well as its present day standing as a picturesque University town.

Richard said: “Having spent most of my life living in the Winchester area, I wanted the roundabout to have longevity, change with the seasons and remain eye-catching.  My design utilised simplicity of lines to achieve the greatest impact, giving it a more contemporary feel.  In order to reflect the historical element of Winchester, I chose native plants; Silver Birch and Hornbeam, which would have been prevalent in the time of King Alfred.

“The Silver Birch, which are a pioneer species, give the design a strong vertical element, resembling the original settlers in Winchester. These are dissected and contrasted by the horizontal lines of the Hornbeam hedging that snakes between the white trunks of the Silver Birch, resembling the River Itchen and its tributaries that meander through the heart of Winchester.

“I will be very excited to see my designs come to life and am looking forward to working with the Council on this project.”

Coral Rogers, Landscape Project Officer at Winchester City Council in charge of the project, said: “This collaboration with Sparsholt College enables the Council to draw on the expertise of these students in order to create an appropriately impressive design for one of the City’s key entrance points. The work submitted by the students was of a very high standard, which has been recognised throughout the Council.” 

It is hoped that planting and landscaping will take place in the Autumn.  As the main vehicular access to Winchester from the north-east and a major thoroughfare for commuters and shoppers, the Easton Lane Roundabout will have many onlookers to admire its new look.

Garden Design Course Manager and Lecturer at Sparsholt College, Harry Mycock said: “This is a very high profile project for our students to work on. Sparsholt College Garden Design students are renowned for their high standard of work and I know they will do the College and the City proud.”

For further information regarding Sparsholt College and full details on the range of Garden Design courses please go to or telephone 01962 776441.