Stonbury are immensely proud to be supporting our clients across the UK at such a crucial time and have been designated as 'key workers' by DEFRA and the UK water utility companies. Our teams are working tirelessly to help secure and maintain drinking water supplies, ensuring clean and safe drinking water is provided without interruption to critical services such as our hospitals as well as the general public. Now more than ever, the safety and wellbeing of our staff is of the utmost importance and we have adapted our safe working practices to ensure social distancing precautions are in place and that the correct hygiene practices are being followed. Safety is our priority, and we endeavour to make sure everyone at Stonbury goes home safe to their family.
Prior to the works, a toolbox talk on the Great Crested Newt (GCN) was delivered to the site team, as the habitat was thought to be suitable for overwintering individuals. GCNs are a protected species, including their eggs, breeding sites and resting places.
Due to heavy rainfall, the water levels had risen, and the flow meant that the habitat was less suitable for GCN. It was decided that a new hibernacula was to be created.
The team worked to clear felled trees and remove brash, using the arisings to shape an ephemeral pond - a pond that holds back floodwater and drains slowly - located on the channel and built a suitable habitat for newts which were identified during the channel clearance.
The bioengineering and channel clearance redefined the edges of the channel, and logs were used as flow deflectors to scour the bed of the stream to expose the underlying gravel. The stream banks are now passable and less overgrown, allowing emergent aquatic plants to flourish.