This year is the worst I have experienced in all my career of landscaping.
It has,as always been aggravated on sites where Contract Managers, Area Managers and Site Managers see the building of a structure through to it’s high spec finish. Then draw a sigh of relief “job done”. But is ” job done” the ambiance of a magnificent building? Can it then be destroyed 6 months or a year later by a lack lustre, struggling, waterlogged landscape?
Bits of light kit to break up pan, as used on our compact tractor and mini digger.
But of course, we do use heavy gear as needed. Mick George is always quick off the mark and has often been on-site for us within 24 hours with a D8 and multi tyned ripper.
The only trees that had to be replaced, on the whole park, were Jugalans Rega, as you can see, they have been replaced by the water tolerant Alnus near the main building, originally a well drained area, but, a temporary bund had stopped the drainage, the Jugalans Rega (Walnut) started to die, not liking its feet in the waterlogged ground.
All the other planting on rest of park was earth sculpture mounds which of course drained.
When I came out of a pre-contractural meeting my heart sank. Damien Debski the Halcrow consultant Chief Engineer said this project will be different to any project you have ever had, then you said one problem after another will occur.
I looked across the potential park we had taken ownership of, it was waterlogged as far as the eye could see.
The extensive earth sculpture mounds, of pure subsoil, were heavily compacted on the famous Gunpowder Park at Enfield, due to wet conditions at the construction phase.
We double dug these areas with a 20 ton 360 digger, to a metre deep, to de-compact them. We then turned Bio Gram (heat treated sewage sludge) in, with a heavy duty land reclamation spading machine to 400 mm. We then got top results planting trees and shrubs straight into the sub soil by putting fungus mycorrhizings in the soil to assist with the establishment of the soil population.
Gunpowder Park – After:
Above is a view of the park to the left of the main gate.
Some areas were left unseeded and ended up like this.
Above is a seeded wildflower area, much of the park was seeded by a Emorsgate’s Seeds, Lea Valley Park indiginous mix.
I was introduced to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh by my client David Thompson of LDA – the landscape architect for Gunpowder Park (David is standing next to me in the last photo). None of us knew it at the time but David was to go on to be a big player in the design process of the Olympic site just down the road from Gunpowder Park.
If you scroll down, the first thing you will see is the Gun Cotton Grinding Wheels.
Because of the precise procedures required to safely produce armaments, strict health and safety systems were written and this was the beginning of ISO9000.
Continue to scroll down to see the original gates to the site and various stages of seeding and planting throughout the project.
Our very resourceful agricultural team of Ray and Russel were having trouble with equipment being smashed. They worked 24/7, cut up an articulated lorry and used it as a levelling bar to help with final preparation.
Read on for symptoms, cures and case studies re Compaction and Water-logging (especially on construction sites that is in most cases so easily avoided at the onset).