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Spetchley Park Garden Pool

The Garden Pool at Spetchley Park, was created out of the moat that ringed the original manor house.  Left undredged for years the accumulated silt resulted in changes to the hydrology with water loss and poor water quality.  Action had to be taken to protect the wildlife and ecology.  Banks and retaining walls had been eroding too, with the pool losing its appeal.  Boasting one of the largest private collections of plant species outside of botanical gardens, Spetchley Park Gardens was an environmentally sensitive site to work with the additional challenge of needing to remain open to the public throughout the project.

Our works at Spetchley involved the removal of silt, trimming the lake with new clay to the base and embankments; with additional improvements to the historic landscape with the replacement of deer fencing, gates and bridges, restoring these elements in the park to their former glory.

A drain down of the lake was agreed with fish rescue done to re-locate them to a nearby lake before several long reach excavators were brought in to dredge over 12000 tonnes of silt into dumper trucks.  Our machines were fitted with low ground bearing tracks to minimise damage to the pond bed, and were run on bio oil to minimise environmental impact.

The existing pool edge was trimmed and compacted to a new profile.  A puddle clay edge was then benched in horizontal layers, each layer compacted to ensure air was squeezed out, allowing the clay to knit together better forming a water tight barrier.  The clay liner was then cut to profile using an excavator ensuring the finished surface was uniform and sealed, reducing leakage of water through the ground.  Coir rolls were placed round the edge to form a natural protection to the banks with replanting of the exisiting reeds.

To repair the pool edge formed with old and historic masonry, the same masons working on the main building restoration were employed to ensure continuity of work.

A team ethos and good communication again on this project between all parties and community, with an information day being held for the public, led to the success of the project.

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