Floating Pocket Park


The Background

Welcome to London’s first floating park
The area around the Grand Union Canal at Paddington Basin has undergone a huge transformation over the past few years, including the 4.45 hectare Merchant Square development. This includes an innovative element in the form of London’s first floating park.
Designed by Royal Horticultural Society Young Garden Designer of the Year and Gold Medallist Tony Woods, the park is situated on a hitherto unused and neglected part of the canal system. It features lawns, trees, a wildlife island – and walkways and decking created with Millboard Enhanced Grain boards.

We were looking for an authentic and durable decking material to realise our client’s ambitions for creating a new public space floating above water at Merchant Square in Paddington. Real timber would not be able to meet the operational and maintenance requirements of the space and many composite products simply looked cheap or unattractive.Ben Dewhirst, Landscape Architect


The Solution

Practical as well as visually appealing
Tony Woods’ company, Garden Club London, set about bringing his design to life. Millboard supplied 302m² of Enhanced Grain decking in Golden Oak, together with matching fascia boards and bullnosed edging. The park was opened to the public in June 2017. The choice of Millboard as the material for the walkways and decking is neatly summed up by Garden
Club London’s Landscape Architect, Ben Dewhirst;

The outcome

A new destination and an icon for the capital
Since opening, the Floating Pocket Park has become an iconic London feature, widely covered in the press and recognised for its distinctive design. Visitors can relax on deckchairs, access Wi-Fi, and even hire self-drive electric boats for trips along the canal.
As well as offering a valuable public recreation space, the park is being promoted as a venue for hosting outside meetings. On Thursdays and Fridays throughout the summer of 2017, it even hosted a pop-up Botanicals Bar, where visitors could enjoy gin cocktails!


Millboard Decking Used

Our client loved the natural finish of Millboard and the guarantee that could be provided even in a heavy footfall commercial situation. Our engineers were also impressed at the flexibility offered by the product that would allow for slight movement on the waterline without causing splintering or cracking. We have used Millboard for a number of commercial applications now and would not hesitate to recommend the virtues of this fantastic product!Tony Woods, Garden Club London