Rye Meads Nature Reserve – Hertfordshire

White Horse Contractors was appointed to undertake the Rye Meads Nature Reserve project involving the distilling of lagoons, creation of wetlands and installation of water control structures in the world heritage site.

The aim of the project was two fold; firstly to reduce the water volume and surface area of lagoon No. 1, thereby declassifying its status under the Reservoirs Act 1975, and secondly to create wetland areas for wild fowl in general but with a specific intention to attract bittern.

The works involved the excavation of hard sediment from the base of the lagoon to form deep-water channels. The spoil generated was in turn used to build a retaining dam across the lagoon. Approx 10,000m3 of silt was then excavated and carted to the area behind the retaining bund. A further 5,000m3 was then excavated, carted and used to fill a deep channel in adjacent lagoon No.2.

The areas between the deep water channels in lagoon No.1 were then landscaped to give a 'ridge and furrow' effect just below the water level. This would provide the habitat for a variety of aquatic plants as well as wildlife.

New water levels were set and controlled by the installation of No.3 pre-cast concrete weirs.

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“I was most impressed with the consistent professionalism of the White Horse Contractors team, from supervisors to ground workers, and look forward to working with the company on future projects.”

Dr Weedon, Watercourse Systems Ltd.

“White Horse Contractors were efficient and extremely flexible whilst working on a complex
de-silting project....they delivered the project exactly to the timetable predicted and within budget. I would have no hesitation in working with them again."

The Landscape Agency

"Just wanted to say a big thank you for the grand job you've made repairing the Kingfisher Loop path. Brilliant."

Joan Childs
Site Manager, RSPB Rye Meads Nature Reserve

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