Lake Restoration Southampton

Kingcombe were recently commissioned to restore a lake for a private client in Southampton. The lake and the surrounding area had been neglected for the last 30 years, becoming highly vegetated and accumulating a large amount of silt build-up. Working with the client, Kingcombe designed a scheme to stabilise the surrounding banks and island, while restoring the lake back to its natural beauty. The project involved removing overgrown vegetation and desilting the main body of the lake. Once the silt was removed, a 2m high x 24 m long gabion wall was constructed to stabilise the bank as a summer house is planned to be built next year. A Timber post crescent was erected to provide a sunken seating area overlooking the estate. The island was also found in disrepair, with overgrown vegetation and requiring stabilisation. Existing trees and shrubs were removed, allowing the island and the adjacent bank to be re-established with close-butted timber posts. Once desilting and stabilising works were complete, a new stone outlet structure was constructed with timber stop logs set in galvanised steel frames, allowing the client to adjust the lake level accordingly. A stone-faced slipway was constructed to allow access underneath one of the bridges and new stone weir to enhance the inlet area. To complete the restoration project, two bespoke handcrafted bridges and jetty’s were installed for easier access to the island, linked by a new curvy stone path. Once the lake has been refilled, our team will return to the site and install the aquatic planting.

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.  

Bennett Memorial Recreation Ground Splash Park

Kingcombe were commissioned to design and construct a new Splash Park at Bennett Memorial Recreation Ground in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. Our designers worked closely with the client to provide a super soaking water play zone within the recreation ground, incorporating both a surrounding pathway and picnic bench area. The Splash Park was completed with a self-raking bow top fence around the perimeter, providing safety whilst making sure there are no head, neck or finger trap dangers. The water play zone boasts over 18 interactive features including a water rainbow-spraying archway, multiple tipping buckets, a hula spray cage, mushroom features, an arching water fence, interactive tap-tap activators with light touch sensitivity and in-ground jets spraying at various heights and patterns with low pressure aerated soft water, all controlled by an electronic control unit. Kingcombe engineers installed a treated and filtered recirculation system, utilising an existing changing room facility that conforms to PWTAG standards. The site did not have access to a main sewage system, which as overcome by installing a separate pumped chamber, to allow the backwash from the filter to be collected and pumped away at a steady rate. A tropical sea themed splashpad was created by our designers using a variety of sea themed graphics, including sea blue and sand yellow colours within the wet pouring safety surface. Once fully constructed, the Splash Park receives a full playground safety inspection, to ensure a safe play zone and a high standard of project delivery.  Dunstable Town council were pleased with their Splash Park and James Slack, Sport & Leisure Facilities Manager added: “The new Splash Pad at Bennett Memorial Recreation Ground has been a great success and has been enthusiastically received with the local residents. Kingcombe Stonbury Ltd design for the splash pad and took into consideration the location and the landscape within the park. They had to overcome several technical issues including a pumped sewage system and locate the plant room in the existing changing rooms. We’re very pleased with the overall result and the professional manner this was dealt with by Kingcombe including the site team, always very polite and professional. The after sales care and support during the early days of opening were exceptional. We would have no hesitation in using Kingcombe again or indeed recommending them to other authorities.”

RHS Flower Show

Our maintenance team were in west London last week, manually cutting The Long Water at Hampton Court Palace in preparation for the RHS Flower Show. Nets were used to collect the free-floating filamentous algae (Cladophora), that often rises to the surface on sunny days. Whilst collecting the weed from the lake full of many different fish species, a pike took a liking to our net. The team checked the health of the fish, before returning it safely back into the lake. Throwback Thursday! In 2014, Ocean Spray commissioned Kingcombe to design, fabricate and install a bespoke floating cranberry display, for the Hampton Court Flower Show, to demonstrate to the public how the cranberry fruit is harvested. We fabricated a GRP cranberry flower, designed to an incredible 10m width in size and incorporating a removable panel for Adrienne Mollor, Ocean Spray farmer, to demonstrate and answer any questions on the harvesting process.