Cambridge University Botanical Gardens

The Rising Path

Gripsure non-slip decking made from Accoya® wood was specified for the Rising Path Project at Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden.

The Rising Path is one of the gardens’ biggest horticulture projects. It revitalises the three-acre Systematic Beds, which were first laid out in 1845. The striking structure offers visitors new ways to explore plant taxonomy.

The 65-metre-long spiral structure was designed by Chadwick Dryer Clarke as a gently sloping path stemming off from the gardens’ existing path network. The path leads visitors to a viewing platform with a three-metre vantage point from which the full layout of the Systematic Beds can be enjoyed.

The structural frame is formed from galvanized steel with the majority of the structure built from Accoya® wood, which was selected for its durability, stability and clean aesthetic. To ensure safe access all year round the walkway and stairs needed to be slip-resistant. We supplied over 1,300 hundred linear metres of Gripsure non-slip decking made from Accoya® wood, backed with our ten-year non-slip performance guarantee.

Along the pathway are sections of landing points that highlight some of the plants’ significant evolutionary innovations, which allowed them to leave the water for life on land. At these points, Gripsure Graphics non-slip deck boards were supplied to create custom typographics. The boards needed to provide a visual contrast to the main decking as well as displaying information for visitors. Project architects Chadwick Dryer Clarke and Designmap (whose design was inspired by the work of the artist Gordon Young) developed the graphic design of the boards.

A representative from Chadwick Dryer Clarke said “Gripsure’s approach was positive and collaborative, with a real interest in supporting the design team and project. A number of prototypes were developed that refined the depth, size and edge clarity of lettering, and the successful result has a crispness and quality that exceeds the design aspirations.

The Rising Path is a well-crafted and elegant structure which enhances the experience of the Systematic Beds which are of global heritage significance. It has had very positive feedback from visitors since its opening.