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This lightweight cable-stayed bridge, crossing the River Douglas in Lancashire, won second place in an
international design competition organised by RIBA and REMADE. Inspired by its wetlands surroundings,
the bridge’s form is that of a bird in flight. The project uses sustainable materials and construction
techniques: as well as providing a unique river crossing, the Flying Bridge requires little maintenance
and causes limited disruption to the site’s fragile ecosystem.
The particular ecological demands of the site – which is home to a number of protected species,
including the great crested newt – meant that protecting the site’s delicate habitats was at the forefront
of our minds. To this end, the bridge is designed to be built almost entirely from one bank, with minimal
work required on the more fragile bank.
The bridge’s materials were selected for their ecological qualities as well as their durability. So, for
example, horse-friendly paving is made from recycled rubber, while low-spectrum LED lighting is
low-energy and doesn’t disrupt the feeding patterns of local bat populations.