Ebsford’s Fountains Abbey Project Wins Heritage Award

Ebsford Environmental has won the Heritage Award at the 2016 Constructing Excellence Yorkshire and Humber Awards for their work on world heritage site Fountains Abbey.

The ceremony, held at the New Dock Hall conference venue in Leeds, recognizes the very best companies, collaborations and projects sharing best practice and inspiring others to adopt new and better ways of working that deliver outstanding results in order to produce a better-built environment.

Ebsford’s winning award entry detailed how they were able to restore a popular tourist feature by removing over 8,000 m³ of silt from the Yorkshire landmark’s Half Moon Reservoir in a non-invasive, sustainable and affordable way.

Nick Hartley, Managing director at Ebsford, said: “We achieved this restoration project with minimum disruption to the site resulting in zero waste. We approached the brief from a very bespoke perspective. Using the natural topography of the site we designed and constructed a collection tank made entirely of biodegradable and re-usable materials. Holding in excess of 8,000 cubic meters, the tank was designed to hold and dry the silt to form a ‘cake’ ready for agricultural use.”

silt pen
silt pen

Presenting the heritage award was Professor Chris Gorse, Director of Leeds Sustainability Institute: “Congratulations to a young company that managed to carry out a project with zero waste, market leaders and technology with the potential to become industry standard.”

Removing the need for heavy machinery, which was estimated to require over 2000 vehicle movements, Ebsford used a low impact amphibious Truxor machine.

Further reducing the impact on the environment and visitor experience, the silt was pumped out of sight uphill over 1 km into a bespoke straw bale silt receptor capable of holding all of the waste material.

This sustainable and innovative design replaced standard geosynthetic silt bags that require a huge area to dewater and can’t be re-used.

The silt receptors were then re-worked into the farmland by the residing farmer to further enhance the land with the rich nutrients of the silt making this a completely environmentally sensitive restoration project.

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