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!
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.
Aquatic Weed Harvester Demonstration on 4th April 2017 from 10:00am
Braunston Marina is situated at the junction of the Grand Union and Oxford Canals and was originally developed at the turn of the 19th century as the waterways depot at the northern end of what was then called the Grand Junction Canal. It now forms a focus for those interested in the canals, their boats and history.
With the kind permission of Braunston Marinas management team we are holding a demonstration event where industry professionals can come and see two of our “Aquatractor” weed harvesting boats and get a close look at its unique features.
The boats “Jenny” and “Gordon” are based on a well tried and proven design. Capable of being trailered to site they are an efficient, reliable and agile workhorse capable of maintaining a high level of aquatic weed harvesting hour after hour. Unlike many boats the “Aquatractor” cuts and collects aquatic weed, which can then be deposited onto the bank or into a barge or trailer.
The purpose of the day is to show the two boats to interested professionals and riparian owners who might have an interest in learning more about this method of mechanical weed control. During the season we have one boat based in London and the others operate from Somerset, regularly travelling as far afield as Liverpool, the North East and the Broads.
There will be members of Kingcombe staff on hand to discuss particular problems and introduce you to the wide range of services we offer.
If you would like to come along, see the boats, walk around this historic site or enjoy a complimentary cup of tea and bacon roll at the Gongoozler’s floating café then please get in touch with Kelly to book a place on email@example.com or call 01460 279200.
This picture of the Severn Acre lake at the Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley shows what can be achieved when skilled and knowledgeable gardeners decide to create some winter colour next to a lake.
We first worked on the Seven Acre lake nearly twenty years ago, we cleaned it out, installed some revetment and put in a bentonite cut off trench to help maintain summer water levels. We also built a cascade and pump system all in the wettest autumn for years.
Last year we were asked to build a retaining wall around part of the lake to support the bank, and then the RHS staff took over with the planting, with the spectacular results in the photograph.
About five years ago we were asked to carry out all of the modifications required to an existing fishing lake and a series of stew ponds at Timsbury near Southampton to form the Manned Model Training Facility for Southampton University.
This new development was to provide a safe environment for training senior deck officers and pilots, to give them experience of close quarter manoeuvring and berthing large oil tankers, ferries and similar ships
The training programme uses scale model ships of 9m or 10m long operating on an inland lake to simulate the behaviour of real, 350m long, 300,000 tonne vessels. This is a unique facility in the UK and we were delighted to be asked to help with its construction.
Morgan Sindall were the main contractors and after a lot of discussion and design meetings our work started with widening the footpath through the undergrowth to create a vehicle access to the lake. We then launched pontoons and floating plant to open up a passage between the various separate water bodies, we desilted deep water channels and dug a narrow canal around the top of the lake.
Concrete and steel retaining walls were designed and installed, bio engineering was completed, and different types of jetties and docks were manufactured, some were pontoons moored on tubular piles, others had either solid or pierced underwater profiles to simulate the different types of harbour wall construction that the mariners would encounter.
While we did the lake works, the main contractor built the training facilities, workshops and classrooms.
It was an interesting and successful scheme that tested our ingenuity and because of the poor access and soft ground, it needed innovative approaches to overcome problems of construction.
Below is a link to the training facility website and a youtube video of the lake and its operation, hope you enjoy watching.
We are actively seeking to recruit additional site staff for the New Year. If you have the skills and aptitude, are looking for a challenge, and don’t mind working away from home, then please get in touch.
We are looking for a Site Manager, ideally from a ground works, earthmoving or building trades background. You will be a problem solver, happy to manage a team of 3 to 6 men, reporting to a Contracts Manager for delivering a diverse range of projects safely, on time, to budget with no defects.
We are also looking for Site Operatives. Hardworking with a desire to make a difference, you might have construction industry experience or come from the landscaping industry or agriculture. You will work as part of a team on a range of projects all over the country for private and public sector clients.
Please follow the link to the specific job descriptions:
Kingcombe has just completed the construction of another new lake, this time for a private client in Oxfordshire.
With approximately 3,000m2 surface area, the lake has been designed to create a conservation feature between the house and the woodlands below, acting as an environmentally beneficial interface between the domestic gardens and the wider landscape. Working with the Landscape Architect, Guy Thornton, we have been able to redefine the contours to create an aesthetically pleasing land form whilst remaining true to the historic character of the landscape.
Dug primarily into chalk, the lake has been lined with a 1.1mm Firestone EPDM waterproof membrane, sandwiched between two layers of 250gm geotextile and then surcharged with 200mm depth of the chalk substrate. Water supply is from a borehole delivering out of the chalk aquifer below. This combination has created the special circumstances for the unusually blue/green hue to the fresh water, which will be subdued just as soon as an organic layer builds up on the bed of the lake.
Water quality will be maintained by recirculating the water over a 25m stone cascade/stream flowing down over the hillside, which will introduce greater levels of dissolved oxygen. The banks have all been seeded with a wildflower mix, with additional aquatic marginals due to be planted in the Spring of 2017.
John recently started a new LinkedIn discussion regarding the use of herbicide against non-native aquatic plant species. Here’s what he wrote.
“Over the last 10 years most approved aquatic herbicides have been removed from the market. Now it would seem that Glyphosate is the next target to come into the sights of the EU legislators. I suspect that all environmentally conscious people would prefer not to be introducing chemicals into the environment unnecessarily. However, the potential loss of Glyphosate, which in the form of Roundup Pro Bio is deemed to be one of the safest products for use in or near water, would present us with real challenges, not the least being the control of non-native species such as Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Floating Pennywort to name but a few.
As a responsible company working in the field of water management and maintenance, Kingcombe Aquacare is keen to find alternative procedures if they exist, but for some of these pernicious plants, which are destroying our native habitat, often in SSSIs, spraying with Glyphosate is the only commercially viable means of control.
I would be interested to know where other Chartered Environmentalists stand on this issue, and whether there are alternative non-native invasive weed control strategies that are commercially viable and successful. Indeed, I would be keen to know where the Institute stands on this issue!”
The ramifications of potentially losing the last remaining effective herbicide are huge and will spark many discussions of how best to control infestations of these non-native plants
We are looking for a talented and motivated person to join our team. Kingcombe Aquacare is recognised as the UK’s leading specialist in water management and we have been designing, building and maintaining waterscapes for 30 years. Our portfolio is diverse with projects including the restoration and creation of iconic landscape water features, creation of water play parks, natural swimming pools, river restoration, and business park water feature maintenance. We also operate a thriving consultancy division that focuses on providing technical design assistance for all types of water features.
We are currently engaged in a planned expansion programme and this new vacancy has been created to cope with the increased workload. Many of our projects are design and build so the ideal candidate will have a civil engineering background, an ability to estimate accurately and experience with using AutoCad design software (however training will be offered to the right person if required).
You will be office based at our Crewkerne headquarters and normal working hours will be 0800-1700.
Your day to day work activities are likely to include;
Production of cost estimates (variable and fixed costs), sourcing material prices, assessing risk and producing tender prices under normal forms of contract.
Use of Valesco estimating software, CS Project, MS Excel, Word, Powerpoint, OnePage CRM (training will be given if required).
Assistance with preparation and delivery of company presentations and marketing material.
Designing, specifying, pricing and sourcing materials for fabrications.
Assisting with the collation and preparation of tender and contract documents, including establishing a good working relationship with potential and existing Clients, as directed by the Company. Advising the Directors on contract conditions. Meeting tender deadlines.
Recording progress and other project related activities on our CRM system in real time when appropriate.
Attending handover meetings providing the Operations Manager with resource sheets and information on jobs won.
You will need to be able to;
Manage your own workload to deliver compliant bids on time.
Work individually or as a member of a team in any of the tasks outlined.
Aim for personal excellence at all times.
Be a good listener and interpret information given by internal and external colleagues.
If you are interested in learning more about this role please contact Kelly Eglon firstname.lastname@example.org for a full job description.
If you own a lake that suffers from algae blooms during the warmer months, now is the time of year to consider introducing barley straw to inhibit growth of new algae. Here is Paul with a load of freshly made ‘sausages’ ready for delivery to one of our customers. We recommend barley straw is introduced in late winter so it is effective in the spring as it starts to decompose.
Each ‘sausage’ should be replaced annually to ensure there is a fresh dose of leachate to inhibit algae growth as the water warms up. If you own a formal water feature or a small pond and you are looking for an algae inhibitor we can supply a concentrated liquid version to do the same task. If you want to know more, Scott Rice is the man to talk to 01460 279 200.