The Blenheim dredging works to pause over Christmas

Dredging of the Queen Pool at Blenheim Palace in Oxford will be paused over Christmas and re-start in the spring, reports the Blenheim.

Photo courtesy of the Blenheim Palace

The decision to temporarily halt the dredge, which is being carried out by leading wet civil engineering contractor, Land & Water, was taken due to weather conditions.

“The dredging is progressing well and Land & Water is approaching the halfway point of what is a hugely ambitious project,” said the Estate Director Roy Cox.

“Rather than risk potentially damaging the Parkland and have the team working at a slower pace than normal, it was decided to halt operations, let the excess water drain away and recommence work in the spring when conditions will be more favourable,” he added.

“During the winter months, Land & Water is pausing the Blenheim dredge with a view to returning in the spring to complete the project,” said Project Manager Charlie Oakes.

“This decision has been made in conjunction with the Blenheim project management team and is made in an effort to reduce the downtime and inefficiency of working during the winter and minimise the damage to the park caused by working in extremely wet conditions,” he added.

The dredging, which is believed to be one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken at a UK heritage site, will return the lake to its original depth of two metres from its current shallows of 30cm.

In total, the project will remove around 300,000 cubic metres of silt from the ‘Capability’ Brown designed lake – enough to fill Wembley Stadium.