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Croome Landscape Park

Owned by the National Trust, this park was Capability Browns first landscape project that inspired the English country garden style throughout Europe. Brown created a lake and the mile and a half long artificial River Croome, a smaller version of the local River Severn some 250 years ago.

Restoration of the park included the dredging or de-silting of 25,000m3 of silt material from the artificial Croome River and transportation to the spreading area. At its widest point the river was over 50 metres across. Of critical importance was the management of historical and archaeological issues in returning the river to its original condition. Records identified stone walling, veteran trees and other buried structures that needed to be located and preserved.

Working closely with the Client team, WM Longreach proposed a methodology for mitigating any impacts and to record any significant finds during the works. This was to use long reach excavators with low ground pressure tracks moving silt from the bottom of the river into a series of dumptrucks. Environment Agency consents were obtained to spread the material and level it on the adjacent land. An 18m long reach machine was used to clear the silt from the bank edges, working along the river bed. It was fitted with a hydraulic tilting bucket mechanism to enable the correct profile to be achieved. This allowed the heavier excavator with a 22m reach to sit well back from the bank edges load silt into the dumptrucks.

A fully detailed GPS modelled as-built survey provided accurate records of the archaeological features encountered during the de-silting operations. The works were completed ahead of schedule to the satisfaction of the National Trust.