Ashwells Collaboration on Inland Waterway Projects

Ashwells Reclaimed Timber is the UK’s leading tropical timber reclamation specialist. For over 30 years Ashwells has been successfully reclaiming tropical hardwoods such as Jarrah, Ekki, Greenheart, Opepe and Keruing, and subsequently repurposing the timber for future use in a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-Certified process.  

Over this time, Ashwells has successfully collaborated on multiple inland waterway projects. In this blog we revisit some of our favourites, from restoring defence walls along the River Thames to combating tidal erosion.  


Cook Piling: Bourne End

This stunning project is a great example of how reclaimed sea defence timbers can be re-sawn and prepared into decking and cladding. Cook Piling already had dismantled lock gates in stock to use for rebuilding the river wall, but needed Ashwells to complement them. The owners requested a bespoke rustic look using reclaimed and upcycled tropical timbers sourced from previous marine environments. Both the decking and cladding will last for many years to come.  


Lymington River Defences

On the foreshore of the Lymington River Estuary our reclaimed FSC certified Greenheart was put to the use to protect the land and prevent further loss. Client Paul Cox explained the seawater submersion daily by the tide means it is not possible to include grassed banks and so your boards will protect and prevent any further land being eroded”. 


River Thames  

At the invitation of DiveCo Marine Ltd we provided FSC certified reclaimed Greenheart for a River Thames maintenance project. Look closely and you’ll see the surface have been left untouched by the Ashwells team to ensure invertebrates can take hold quickly to reduce impact on the environment.  


Cook Piling: Henley 

This cladding along the river bank at Henley-on-Thames demonstrates the various colours of tropical hardwood timber. It is also the ideal material to use as its durability is perfectly suited to this environment.


Volkerwessels UK: Sea Groynes and Beach Access Ramp  

One of our many passions is ensuring that as much timber as possible is reused from along our shore lines, and resawn to be reused again in sea defences. Volkerwessels UK were awarded the contract for both sea groynes and a beach access ramp by the Local Authority at Southend-on-Sea. We were delighted to be supply the Greenheart piles which formed a stable structure for the disabled access ramp. We also provided 12-14m piles reclaimed from Channel Marker Piles in Southampton Harbour to be used in the new sea groyne. The groyne boards were cut from fender timbers from Portsmouth docks.   


Bam Nuttall & Mott MacDonald

On behalf of Leeds City Council, we were able to provide flood protection for the River Aire. Air bags were installed that could be inflated or deflated, as needed to alter the amount of river water that is allowed to flow over them. Part of the design meant that the air pipework had to be fixed to the existing river wall, therefore exposing them to damage from the water and debris suspended in the river during time of high-water levels and flows. The guidelines set out the Environment Agency meant hardwood timber was selected as the best material for the fenders, Greenheart being the preferred type. We were able to match all the procurement guidelines; profile and drilling the fenders within a short time frame.  


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