In the Summer of 2022, Smals Dredging UK Ltd. was invited to Raynham Hall located in Raynham Park, West Norfolk. The reason for the site visit was to have a look at the local lake clogged full of silt; it was getting shallower every year.
As a specialized dredging company in desilting of eco-sensitive, hardly reachable waters (www.smals.com), Smals was investigating the possibility of dredging this big lake. Plans to build some waterfront located lodges on the private property could only be executed with a fervently desired first step of the project: the deepening of the lake to previous depths.
In cooperation with the specialized civil engineers of Miles Water Engineering (MWE), Smals Dredging started with a strategic design for the possible execution of the dredging works. Similar to Smals Dredging’s general methodology, the proposal was to beneficially use all dredged up sediment nearby the lake after dewatering it in big lagoons. And because of the highly sensitive historically importance and beautiful location of this project, the involved stakeholders came up with their specific concerns and anxiety. Stakeholders included, Natural England, Forestry Commission, Historic England, Environment Agency, and New Woods Forestry with questions about turbidity of the approach, impact on specific animals, protection for eco-life, respect for old trees. After a joint and transparent meeting with satisfying answers, a general concensus was agreed upon.
The big lagoons with clay bunds, constructed by MWE in the cow meadows of the Estate, were built first. Afterwards the small 8-inch Cutter Suction Dredger, with pipeline transportation of the sediment, started pumping up the silt into the lagoons. While emptying the lake by dredging it, the lagoons were filled with the nutrient-rich sediment consisting of rotten branches and leaves, and bird faeces. The total cleaning operation of the lake will be completed before summer 2023. Afterwards the dug up sediment will have to be spread over the adjacent meadows and further development of the estate can take place.