Viewing entries posted in June 2013


Posted by on 10 June 2013

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Working on behalf of the Environment Agency, team Van Oord & earthworks contractor Kelston Sparkes are working on a project to provide flood defence and a new wildlife habitat on the Steart Peninsular in North Somerset.

During 2012 and 2013 the £18m Steart Coastal Management Project will have created more than 400 hectares of wildlife-rich habitats including salt-marsh and freshwater wetland. These internationally important habitats provide vital feeding and breeding grounds for wading birds and wildfowl as well as homes for animals such as water voles and great crested newts. The new intertidal habitat will also enhance the recreational and amenity value of the Steart Peninsula. 

Between 300 and 600 hectares of wetland habitat needs to be created in the Severn Estuary over the next 20 years to compensate for the loss of existing salt-marsh and mudflats through predicted rising sea levels, and the construction of new coastal flood defences.

The project also provides set-back defences to enable the Environment Agency to manage flood risks to people and property on the peninsular. The defences will also help those living and working in the area to adapt to sea level rises and plan for the future.

The total excavation volume is approximately 750.000m3 of clay to construct 5km of new sea defence bunds and form salt water lagoons and creeks..

Alan Sparkes, Kelston Sparke’s  MD said: “We have been working as part of the integrated project team during the past 3 years.  During that time we have assisted with the development of the design and detailed planning of the overall scheme, and have also assisted in the developed procedures for advanced ecological mitigation across the peninsular.   In 2011, prior to the main contract,  we constructed a 150m long and 4m high trial section of the main embankment– this was to help to understand the characteristics of the foundation soils and to determine the specification of the final works that is currently under construction" 

“Pre-construction surveys and mitigation works which include archaeology, unexploded ordnance, and topographic surveys have been carried out across the peninsular. The area has a significant archaeological history which must be recorded, and was a practice bombing range during WW2 and after the war. These are significant potential risks that the advanced works contract has mitigated prior to construction of the new habitat.  Carrying out these works as an advanced contract has allowed the main works to proceed with minimal risk of delays due to unforeseen constraints.”















































Kelston Sparkes Team













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