Kingcombe Stonbury were set to task by the Environment Agency to carefully remove a silted section from the channel of the River Brit.

Before the works could take place an ecologist surveyed the area for any live water vole burrows and also to determine whether Lampreys were present. Both Lampreys and water vole burrows were found close to the working area, this meant all works would be taken place under a watching brief.

The area around the channel was very restrictive so methodology was implemented to use a crane to assist with the in-channel works. This included lifting the excavator into the channel and supporting the skip whist the excavator removed the silt.

Pollution control measures were put in place immediately downstream of the works area and all machinery used bio-degradable hydraulic oil. The excavator and boat skip were inspected daily by the site manager prior to entering the channel to ensure there were no fluid leaks or damage.

The work area and access were close to a footpath in a public space, a banksman supervised machinery movements at all times, giving priority to pedestrians.

A detailed site inspection and risk assessment was completed prior to the works going ahead, this included the crane supplier’s risk assessment and method statement, along with a risk assessment and method statement for the in-channel works. A prestart meeting took place between the client, landowner and contractor to agree access, parking and emergency procedures.