Sir John Monash Centre (Australian National Memorial)

Project Name: Sir John Monash Centre (Australian National Memorial)

Project Time: 2017 - 2018

Project Value: £100 K

Project Type: Community & Environment

Main Contractor: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Landscape Architect: CWGC

Location: Somme, France

Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Australian National Memorial is a visitors’ gateway to the Western Front, honouring Australian soldiers who fought in France and Belgium during World War I.

In 2017, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) contracted Acre Landscapes to oversee the restoration of this landmark, with a soft landscaping scheme that featured the supply and installation of 49 Taxus trees, each weighing over 8-tonnes.

A tight 2-week schedule, with the addition of a mid-week French bank holiday

Our team was appointed by CWGC to travel to Bremen in North-West Germany to professionally inspect each tree and to agree on logistics prior to delivery. Once delivered to France, our planting specialists joined forces with the CWGC in-house gardening team to excavate and prepare tree pits, ready for a successful establishment in exact accordance with the landscaping design.

Key Technical Challenges:

  • Because each tree was nearing 50 years of age, specialist safeguarding provisions were implemented to protect the ball-root system during transportation, uploading, and planting.
  • The colossal size and weight of each tree meant a 150-tonne mobile crane and 28-metre telescopic forklift were required to offload, position, and successfully plant each tree across the site.
  • Adhering to a tight 2-week schedule, with the addition of a mid-week French bank holiday.