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VACANCY – Trainee Maintenance Operative

We are a National Company based in Somerset, specialising in creating and maintaining waterscapes for business and leisure. An exciting opportunity has arisen in our Maintenance division. We currently have positions  available based in both Bristol and Crewkerne.
This position includes carrying out regular maintenance tasks for a wide range of water features on both commercial and private properties. The work is likely to include operating specialist machinery, weed cutting and control, herbicide application, seine netting, electro-fishing, fish transportation, planting, bank revetment and maintenance, liner installation and repairs as well as larger construction projects.
 
To be considered for the role you will have the following skills:
  • Relevant grounds or water maintenance experience would be an advantage.
  • Hold a current CSCS card
  • Able to establish good working relationships with clients, agents & sub-contractors.
  • Competent swimmer
  • Hold a clean driving licence and must be willing to travel nationally and occasionally work away.
Benefits for this role include a competitive salary & working away allowances
For an application form please call Rosenn Harvey 01460 279200
 
Closing date: Monday 31st July 2017

American Skunk Cabbage Control On Behalf of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and The New Forest National Park Authority

For the second year running we have taken part in the invasive non-native species control as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded New Forest ‘Our Past, Our Future’ Landscape Partnership Scheme.

American skunk-cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is present in several locations in and around the New Forest National Park.

Under European Union regulations, it is an offence in the UK to keep, cultivate, breed, transport, sell or exchange this species, or release it, intentionally or unintentionally, into the environment.

American skunk cabbage is a large, imposing perennial producing paddle-shaped leaves up to 1.5 metres tall and yellow arum-like flowers in spring that are spectacular but foul-smelling (hence the name). Originally from western North America, it was widely available from garden centres and nurseries for planting besides ponds and in bog gardens.

It spreads vigorously in wet woodland, wetlands and ditches, forming dense stands that out-compete native vegetation by shading and smothering. Reproduction by seed in the wild is frequent. It has been reported in at least 10 EU countries.

We are just recording the results from our late May treatment and the dieback looks promising.

The large site presents awkward access bordering a lake and approximately 1 hectare of boggy woodland often requiring a long walk in full PPE and a heavy Knapsack. Due to the densities of the plants we have used spray paint to mark individual plants and a flag system to help navigate the woodland.

Late June 2016. First treatment – difficult to navigate through plants. Note the yellow markers
Late May 2017. Fewer plants, smaller and easier to move around

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lone plant in the upper reaches. Treated in 2016
Late May 2017. Same location as image to the left. Plant dead and no sign of new seedlings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 weeks post treatment – Dieback evident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about weed control, please click here

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday saw a miraculous change at Old Ford Lock on the Regents Canal in Tower Hamlets, East London.

We are working under contract to Fountains, carrying out ongoing maintenance work for the Canal and River Trust. One of our “Aquatractor” weed boats works on the London canals through out the summer, cutting weed, removing litter and keeping the waterways looking their best.

Here are more details of our weed boats: http://kingcombe.com/aquatractor/home/

Sandymouth Resort Splash Pad Success

The week leading up to the May bank holiday saw us commissioning a new childrens splash pad at Sandymouth Holiday Resort, in Bude, Cornwall.

This was the final piece of work for us to complete on this project ready to hand over to the Client in preparation for their opening at the weekend. Normally we would be finished and commissioned with time to spare but we were reliant on others for power and water connections and to complete the finishing around our work. We understand that everything went well despite thunder and lightning on the Friday night. We are happy to announce that our equipment worked well without any problems for the holiday makers and in the words of one mother on Facebook – “my little man loved it”

So well done to everyone from Kingcombe who helped make this scheme a success, and added to the enjoyment of the resort’s customers.

To visit the Sandymouth Resort Facebook page, please click here

30th Anniversary Celebrations

A great time was had by all when the Kingcombe Team came together on the weekend to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the company. A family BBQ was held on the Saturday afternoon at Cann Farm, John and Theresa Colton’s home, accompanied by a water slide, paddling pools, football goals and the biggest bubble maker known to man! In the evening over 90 of our clients, suppliers and staff sat down to a four course meal, including a duck breast starter and a crayfish and water buffalo main course. Washed down with some great wine, followed up by fabulous music and entertainment courtesy of the band Area 52, it proved to be a barnstormer of an evening and an appropriate way for us to thanks to those present for all their support over those 30 years.

 However, that thanks spreads beyond the sore heads, hoarse voices and weary limbs of the revellers on that evening. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of our clients who have placed their faith in Kingcombe over the years, many of whom have become firm friends in the process. We also need to remember our suppliers, be they a one man band or a large national company. Our supply chain is critical to the success of our performance on site, without their diligence and reliable service it would be impossible to achieve the quality goals that we set ourselves. The Kingcombe Team is a very broad kirk, and we welcome this opportunity to extend our thanks to all those who have helped us to achieve this notable milestone.

Whilst it is tempting at a moment like this to dwell on the achievements of the past, I am excited to say that the heady mix of youth and maturity, male and female, innovation and experience, that now makes up the Kingcombe Team, prepares us so well for the challenges that lie ahead. Coming straight off the back of being involved in the building of water features on no less than four – yes, four – Gold Medal winning gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last month (http://kingcombe.com/2017/05/chelsea-flower-show-success/), our 30th Celebration was not so much a recognition of our achievements in the past, more a statement of intent for what we hope to achieve in the future.

Here’s to the next 30 years!

Chelsea Flower Show Success

We are very pleased to announce that of the four gardens that we were involved with at Chelsea this year, all have won Gold Medals, including a 72nd successive gold for Hillier’s.

Royal Bank of Canada Garden – designed by Charlotte Harris. Water element by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. 2017 Gold Medal Winner: Show Garden
Viking Cruises Garden – designed by Sarah Eberle. Water element by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. 2017 Gold Medal Winner: Artisan Garden
Walkers Wharf – designed by Graham Bodle. Water Element by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. 2017 Gold Medal Winner: Artisan Garden
Spring – designed by Sarah Eberle. Water Element by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd. 2017 Gold Medal Winner. This is Hilliers 72nd successive gold medal.

Congratulations to all involved!

(All photos courtesy of Royal Horticultural Society)

UKAS Certification Audit

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the sole national accreditation body recognised by the British government to assess the competence of organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.

This week has seen the culmination of a lot of hard work by several people to refine and document our Integrated Management System (IMS). The systems and processes have been re written and set out and define how we deal with quality management, environmental management and health and safety management, combining the information to meet the latest ISO 9001, 14001, and OHAS 18001 standards.

After a pre audit assessment 6 weeks ago to validate our systems, this week has seen an assessor spend three days with us ensuring that we actually operate our IMS system properly, in line with UKAS standards. This included two days in the office and one day visiting sites to see that not only do we “talk the talk” but we actually “walk the walk” as well.

Happily we met all the criteria and are now waiting to receive our UKAS Certification!

Wet Fun for the Summer Holidays

We are about to start work on another splashpad, this time for Reigate and Banstead Council. The project involves the restoration of an existing play ground which included a small water play area, next to a timber ship climbing feature.

The project starts on site on the 15th of May and we are expected to have it operational for the start of the school summer holidays. We will remove the existing sand, cast a new water play area including features from our own EcoSplash range of attractions and construct a small control and pump kiosk which will stand just outside the playground.

The area will then have a bright resilient play surface laid, both over the splashpad and around the existing ship so that the facility meets the current safety standards.

Meanwhile we are halfway through a project in Dunstable for the Town Council to create a new waterplay ground in an existing park; currently the park has a conventional play area as well as sports pitches. We are building a new facility that makes use of an existing pavilion to house the pumps, fileration and control equipment. The pavilion is being refurbished to provide improved facilities and will include a café and toilets so that while the children play, Mum and Dad can have a coffee whilst keeping an eye on them.

A bit like an iceberg, the part of the splashpad you can see above the ground is only part of the whole installation.

The picture shows one of the two buried tanks being installed; this will be buried adjacent to the play surface. In addition there is a pumping station to collect the waste water after cleaning the filters and there are numerous buried pipes and drains. This week we have started the fit out of the control room, putting in the pumps and water treatment equipment. We expect to be finished at this location in late June, in plenty of time for families to enjoy the summer sun.

To find out more about Splashpads, please visit our dedicated page on http://kingcombe.com/water-play-parks/water-play-parks/

Quantity Surveyor Vacancy

Kingcombe Aquacare is one of the UK’s leading specialists in water management with activities ranging from the restoration of historic water features, the creation of iconic lakes, through to the maintenance of watercourses and water play parks, including fish husbandry and aquatic weed control. With a wide and varied client base from the public and private sector, the Company is looking to recruit an experienced Quantity Surveyor to help manage the planned growth in our workload.

The role will involve preparing valuations and final accounts on a variety of projects. It will ideally suit an individual with Civils and/or Groundworks experience. The role includes flexible working hours based at our offices in Crewkerne, but some travel across the South of England and Wales may be required to sites, as necessary, when expenses are paid.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a vibrant management team delivering unique projects with huge satisfaction in the finished product.

If interested, please phone Kelly Eglon on 01460 279200 or email ke@kingcombe.com for an application form.

CLOSING DATE: 7th April 2017

Repeat Business

They always say it is easier to do repeat business rather than find new customers. This is of course very true for our maintenance teams where we revisit familiar properties to work on the ponds and lakes, year after year,  getting them ready as they come alive again in the spring. But the last couple of weeks has seen us secure two pieces of engineering work for previous Clients. One is for the Corporation of London, working at the Barbican Centre. We will be replacing some steel pipework in a lake we cleaned out and restored about 12 years ago. The challenge is that we are working in a totally built environment, surrounded by residential flats, two schools and the Barbican Centre. So our working methods and times have to be modified to suit our environment. It is also a challenge because of the number of people who want to stop and chat, they are genuinely interested in what we do and want to find out more. Whilst it is only five minutes out of their day, when you have been asked for the thirtieth time “So what are you doing then mate?” it starts to eat into the time available to do the job. But still we are from the West Country where the opportunity for a yarn over the fence is never deliberately turned down!

Weir at the Barbican Centre
Aerator at the Barbican Centre

The second job is in complete contrast. We will be cleaning out a lake for a private Client near Swindon. This was the place that  John and Chris first met when they did the same work together in 1988. We know the date because it is cast into the concrete bridge that they made to go over the cascade. Here we will be working in a very rural environment, with only dog walkers and ramblers to see our progress.

 

Both jobs present different challenges and contribute to the variety of work we enjoy completing from mechanical engineering to heavy plant and excavation.

To view our range of services please visit http://kingcombe.com/water-maintenance-services/