Case Study - Cricketers Pond, Sarratt, Hertfordshire
Project: Pond landscaping, restoration and habitat provision
Products: Pre-planted coir rolls and pallets
The village pond at Sarrat, Hertfordshire was in a state of decline due to excess pollutants and nutrients entering the system. Due to the positioning of the pond pollutants were entering the system as run off from the surrounding area. These pollutants consisted mainly of oil and petrol from the network of roads in close proximity to the pond and without any form of filtration the pollutants were having a detrimental impact on the ecology of the pond
The solution put forward by the A.G.A Group involved providing the pond with its own natural filtration system in the form of a reedbed and increased marginal vegetation. Reedbeds absorb the pollutants and excess nutrients whilst releasing vital oxygen in to the water which improves water quality.
The initial phase of the project involved re-landscaping the area to reduce the runoff from the road. It was decided to create a terrace using coir rolls and reclaimed material from the site to slow the flow of water. This allowed the excess run off to slowly seep into the soil instead of flowing directly into the pond. The re-landscaping also involved creating robust margins to the pond from pre-planted coir rolls which improve the ecology of the pond and provide habitat to encourage biodiversity in the area.
The landscaping element of the project was vital to the overall success and as such great care was taken in creating the correct angle of the slope. The coir pallets were then positioned around the two inflow pipes to the pond to naturally filter the water before it entered the pond.
Along with the filtration provided by these reedbeds further filtration was provided by the pre-planted coir rolls positioned around the margins. The coir rolls are multi functional and also offer robust protection from bank side erosion whilst providing valuable habitat.
Once the initial re-landscaping phase was completed and the pre-planted coir rolls and pallets were in position all that was needed was for nature to take its course. After a relatively short period of time the plants started to thrive, providing the desired filtration of pollutants before the water entered the pond.
The pond is once again the focal point for the village and the area is popular with both local residents and visitors alike. The A.G.A Group as both designers and contractors were awarded the Chilterns Conservation Board Landscape Design Award 2007 for the project. By using bioengineering solutions to solve complex problems such as this the use of ‘hard’ engineering techniques can be completely negated.