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Desilting and Lake Restoration

Regular maintenance to a lake is vital to preserve its natural beauty, otherwise, the lake will quickly end up in a poor condition. Kingcombe Stonbury have extensive experience in the restoration of historical lakes and a good example of this can be seen throughout a recent lake desilting and restoration project that was undertaken for a private client in Oxfordshire. The formal Water Gardens on the Estate were originally built by John Harborne in 1615 and further cleared and restored by the then proprietor Sir Harald Peake in the 1960’s. Since then, the main spring fed lake had fallen into disrepair, accumulating a large amount of silt and becoming significantly overgrown, blocking light and wind and causing the water to become stagnant. The land owner entrusted Kingcombe Stonbury with the contract to restore this historic lake back to its former 16th century glory. Working closely with Natural England, the project involved the removal of several thousand cubic metres of silt from the main body of the lake, cutting back perimeter vegetation and installation of a new drain down penstock.  A fleet of dumpers transported and spread the removed silt onto adjoining farmland, in accordance with our permit for mobile plant for land spreading. The silt was also used for re-profiling and landscaping the lake perimeter and margins. On completion of the desilting works, the existing penstock was replaced with timber stop logs set in steel frames and fixed to the existing structures. Reconstruction works were also carried out on the overflow channel, in keeping with the cobbled design of the original structure. Control of over-shading marginal vegetation and the removal of excessive silt accumulation has enabled the re-growth of oxygenating aquatic plants and helped restore the ecological balance of this historic lake.   The client and Natural England were delighted with the restoration of this historic landscape feature.

Desilting, Barwick House

As specialists in the water environment, desilting lakes is one of our core activities. We have completed a variety of projects, including this one at Barwick House. Barwick House is surrounded by beautiful parkland with a lake, grotto, gothic lodge and a group of four follies. The lake had become overgrown to the point where there was only 300mm of water over the silt. To preserve the picturesque appearance, the lake required a full refurbishment to restore it to its true form. Working closely with the client, we removed over 7000m3 of silt from the lake which was deposited on an area of adjacent woodland. Prior to the works, our ecologist surveyed the area to ensure that removal of the trees and vegetation would not disturb any habitats within the woodland and lake area. A full report was created, with guidelines to follow for the duration of the works, alongside obtaining the appropriate licenses to allow the spreading of the silt onto the land. For access, a section of trees were felled and an area of vegetation cut back, enhancing the woodland area at the same time. The lake was then drained and the fish rescued to a nearby holding pond. In addition to the desilting works, we installed 40 metres of post and rail oak ‘campshedding’ that provides a neat and classic edge detail, widely used for revetment. The overflow structure was also refurbished. When all the silt had been removed, we allowed the lake to refill with water, returned the fish to the lake and cultivated the silt disposal area.

Kings Park Splash Park

Kingcombe have recently designed and constructed a 1000m2 pirate themed Splash Pad located in the heart of Retford. The Splash Park is a large area of water play, incorporating specifically designed age zones and intertwining pathways. After public consultations and liaison with the client, our team proposed a design to suit both requirements and budget. A pirate themed design was created by using detailed and bespoke products to suit the size of the Splash Park environment and the surrounding area. The Splash Pad is extensive, incorporating a toddler zone, an area for the older children, a water stream and an Archimedes’ screw. The channel re-uses the water from the toddler zone which is fitted with weirs and sluice gates, allowing maximum interaction for the children. Our designers also built into the park a raised sand play zone, at the heart of the area incorporating imaginative and collaborative play apparatus reached via wooden bridges across the stream. The older children can enjoy the pirate ship with its tipping buckets located on the mast and several water cannons that provide hours of fun, and a good soaking to anyone who dares to walk past! Along with the mighty pirate ship, there are many other features for the younger children to enjoy too, including a stream, gentle sprays and in-ground jets. Different types of surfacing provide a demarcation between paths, play areas, and sitting areas utilising concrete, soft play surfacing, artificial grass and of course the sand pit and timber bridges. A large patio area with new toilets, changing facilities and a new light snack kiosk allows parents to enjoy refreshments whilst watching their children play. A perimeter seating area has also been included, to allow parents to be closer to their children and for easier access for wheelchairs. All Kingcombe designed and constructed Splash Parks have a full playground safety inspection, to ensure delivery of the highest standard and most importantly, a safe play zone. The park is visited by our Splash Park teams to commission the features at the start of the season, before returning to finally decommission ahead of the winter period. The Council Project Manager comments “Brilliant from start to finish. Excellent staff. Highly skilled and professional. Would recommend to others.” View our time-lapse video of the construction process for the Splash Park.  

Kingcombe Aquacare is now a part of Stonbury

After more than 30 years as Kingcombe Aquacare, we are now pleased to be a part of the Stonbury Group. We will continue our work as usual in the South West region but look forward to exploring the possibilities that this new opportunity gives us. Recognised as a centre of excellence for all aspects of water maintenance, construction, restoration and management, we are confident in the knowledge that we now have Stonbury’s expertise and backing to draw upon as well.

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