Burnham Beeches, City of London


Interpretation Design for Burnham Beeches


Located in South Buckinghamshire around 25 miles from London, Burnham Beeches was acquired by the City of London in 1880, in response to a threatened purchase by residential developers. It was up for sale as “land suitable for the erection of superior residences”. There has been woodland on the site since the retreat of the last ice age, but today’s landscape has been shaped by people.

A National Nature Reserve and a site of special scientific interest - the Beeches attracts around 500,000 visitors a year and is known for its tranquillity as well as its rich diversity of habitats and wildlife. The site has been a valuable recreation amenity for local people and visitors for over 125 years and is managed both as a public open space and for conservation.

Project Motivation

Keen to engender greater respect for the site across all visitor groups, the City of London established that raising awareness for the site’s key features would be essential. They recognised that to successfully achieve greater awareness they would need to invest in more engaging and welcoming interpretive displays.


Although excellent bids were submitted by several companies – impressed by Fitzpatrick Woolmer’s approach and full service capability, from interpretation design to hardware manufacture, Fitzpatrick Woolmer were appointed.

After in-depth consultation and a thorough site survey, Fitzpatrick Woolmer went away and developed an interpretive concept for the site. The solution included the production of multiple composition illustrations and prohibition symbols as well as the creation of a functional yet engaging template for interpretation. The template would be rolled out across a suite of four panels, each with a different theme.