Landscapers are transforming the site for a state-of-the-art virtual reality unit at Hartpury University

Greenfields landscapers have revealed the background to an innovative new teaching facility at Hartpury University, giving students access to the latest in agricultural technology and precision smart farming simulations.

It took the team just over a month to set up message stairs, signage, patios and landscaping as part of the new studio’s grand unveiling.

The digital hub, which opened at the end of May 2023, enables students to carry out agricultural tasks using virtual simulations and augmented reality.

And to make the new facilities shine, the university needed a framework that could accommodate the latest technology.

With the help of the Greenfields Landscapers team, the university has now received a fresh look that recognizes investment in the latest technologies and innovations.

Tasked with redesigning the outdoor area surrounding the new Agricultural Engineering Learning Capsule, Greenfields was handed a blank canvas after weeding and gas tank removal.

The university wanted the space to be a highlight of the campus, including a distinctive concrete step leading to the new main entrance. The brief was to create a low-maintenance garden that is also rich in species.

Greenfields created a planting scheme of low growing shrubs that framed the main landscape, trees that provided a backdrop to the landscape and distracted from the sweat barn behind the area, and selected small trees along the grounds to add interest and enhance the space .

There are now a variety of perennials and grasses that change with the seasons and are of year-round interest, enhancing the biodiversity of the area.

To help all plants in their first season, the team installed a timed watering system and drip lines throughout the bed. This is an inexpensive and efficient way to keep the new large planting areas irrigated and healthy.

Greenfields’ James Hopkins also helped put up new signage. In collaboration with project managers in Hartpury, he made three large signs from Corten steel.

Each design is laser cut from sheet metal and includes stainless steel lettering, support posts and a base.

At the rear of the pod, they built a new deck and balustrade to connect to the existing patio in the agri-tech area. A new picket and picket fence frames the back of the landscape.

And to round off the area, Greenfields created sill surrounds and sill planters, and clad the hard face with crushed limestone to enhance the atmosphere of the area.

Hopkins said, “It has been great working with the university and the project team.” For Hartpury, this space will not only improve teaching efficiency for the college’s students, but will also be a magnet for clients across the country who are interested in the new technology that they can now offer.

“We pride ourselves on improving our local community, so we were delighted to be a part of this project.”