Projects – Marine Works

Restoring Thames & protecting wildlife

We were thrilled to be invited to provide FSC certified reclaimed Greenheart (the strongest timber in the world) to DiveCo Marine Ltd for a River Thames maintenance project.

Look closely and you’ll see the surfaces have been left untouched by the Ashwells team (rather than sawn) to ensure invertebrates can take hold quickly to reduce impact on the environment.

Combating Tidal Erosion

We work with many clients managing tidal erosion. In this recent project on the foreshore of the Lymington River Estuary our reclaimed FSC certified Greenheart is being put to use to protect the land and prevent further loss. Client Paul Cox explained: “The previous boarding had suffered the ravages of time. We had a civil engineer who specialises in marine defences design & spec out what we needed & he recommended you guys. 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.”

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 defenses. These projects demonstrate how this can be achieved. Volkerwessels UK were awarded the contract for both these projects by the Local Authority at Southend-on-Sea. Volkers subcontracted the piling-work to Aarleff Piling. These projects were particularly challenging to the contractors, as they had to work within a 6 hour window per day due to the tides. To complete the work they used a 700 piling rig to drive the 300mm x 300mm Greenheart Piles 7m into the sandy surface. The reclaimed Greenheart piles formed a stable structure for the disabled access ramp and steps to be built. The second contract was to build a complete new groyne using 12 to 14m piles reclaimed from Channel Marker Piles in Southampton Harbour, and the groyne boards were cut from fender timbers from Portsmouth docks.

Bam Nuttall & Mott MacDonald

This project was undertaken on behalf of Leeds City Council 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 times of high water levels and flows.
The guidelines set out by 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.

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.

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.