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.
2017 has got off to a good start with projects underway around the country.
We are working in East Sussex on a splashpad as part of a leisure park development. The site is at Camber Sands near Rye, and is a new feature being installed as part of the redevelopment of the holiday park. So far we have experienced torrential rain and freezing temperatures but the project is moving on. One of the quirks of working on sites like these is that the client provides the accommodation and the site teams end up staying in the park mobile homes. Whilst these are great for family holidays in the summer months I am told they get a bit chilly when the temperature outside is minus 5 degrees C.
At the other end of the country we are working on a very similar scheme at Stibb near Bude in Cornwall. Another splashpad development on a holiday park but here we are working very closely with the Main Contractor who is building the control and plant room next to the splashpad.
These projects are running to strict timescales to allow the work on the surrounding areas to be finished before the parks reopen and take holiday bookings.
In complete contrast we have just started building a 6m deep pumping station and associated valve chamber with ancillary works on a sewage works for Wessex Water. The site is about 10 miles from our offices, so gets lots of visits from everyone. It also means that everyone gets home at night.
We are also involved in work for a government agency along the sides of the River Severn within site of the Severn Bridge. This must rate as one of the most bleak and cold places in the South of England. When the wind is blowing up the estuary bringing rain from the Atlantic it is not a pleasant place to be.
The winter maintenance of the weedcutting boats is underway and fabrication of platforms, structures and stairways is keeping the workshops gainfully employed.
Despite the cold and recently wet weather everyone is cheerful and looking forward to the advent of spring, longer days and hopefully better conditions to work in.