RTE’s programme Eco Eye featured the Cardiffsbridge Park, Tolka Valley,  focusing on the integrated constructive wetlands.


Atkins was commissioned by Dublin City Council for the design and implementation of a linear park in the Tolka valley. Work included baseline environmental studies, archaeological studies, advance testing, flood and flora studies, detailed design and construction supervision.

Initial design proposals for the new park were drawn up to include provisions for Astroturf sport pitches, tennis courts, two pedestrian footbridges, a riverside walk and cycle path, robust boundary treatment and a proposed lake incorporating Integrated constructed wetlands. Intensive consultation was carried out with a wide range of statutory authorities and the public. Atkins then were requested to update the Master Plan. The design took into account the following based on information made available including the Environmental Report:

– Flood levels in the wetland area,
– Access to the site, pedestrian desire lines,
– Areas of potential archaeological interest,
– Areas of ecological importance,
– Access for fish enhancement areas,
– Soils and groundwater vulnerability,
– Planning applications in the vicinity of the park,
– Locations of underground and overhead utilities, relocation of overhead lines,
– Locations where vandalism and illegal entry had occurred,
– Extensive archaeological reporting and testing works.

The design and construction works comprised of the following elements:

– Design and Construction of approximately 1700m of combined footway/cycleway facilities;
– Design and Construction of approximately 2460m of 2m wide secondary footways;
– Design and Construction of a footbridge over the Tolka River;
– Design and construction of a footbridge over a Mill Race,
– Ground remodelling over the extent of the Park;
– Provision of two new vehicular entrances to the park;
– Provision of three new pedestrian accesses to the Park;
– Provision of ducts and chambers for lighting and CCTV cameras;
– Construction of integrated constructed wetlands including ornamental lake and boardwalk,
– Construction of anglers facilities;
– Provision of new boundary treatments including different fence types.

Landscaping design works included for the preparation of planting beds, supply and plant wetland planting, shrubs, hedge, trees, grass and wildflower meadow.

Features such as an ancient trackway across the site will be marked by a bold strip of purple flowers and will cut through the main features of the open space. During the construction works excavation depths were limited where historic features were preserved in-situ and minor deviations to pathways were incorporated into the design also to avoid features preserved in situ.

This project was successfully delivered on time and on budget for Dublin City Council.