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Hanningfield Reed Beds

For this innovative engineering project for Essex & Suffolk Water, Liz Lake Associates was commissioned to develop landscape proposals to help integrate rectangular terraced reed beds into the Essex landscape by Hanningfield Reservoir.

Liz Lake Associates has experience in working on a wide variety of infrastructure projects, including water-based projects. In this instance, sludge resulting from the water treatment processes at the nearby Hanningfield Water Treatment Works had previously been pumped into a lagoon adjacent to the reservoir. Over the years the lagoon had silted up and a new solution was required.

Using a method developed by Danish engineers, the sludge from the water treatment process is now pumped into reed beds and the water is reduced and cleaned through natural processes before flowing into and through the silted-up lagoon, thereby improving its biodiversity potential. Over time, the accumulated sludge can be removed from the reed beds and recycled for agricultural and other uses.

Our involvement helped to ensure the 16 rectangular terraced reed beds were integrated sensitively into the gently undulating Essex countryside, taking into account existing public rights of way close to three sides of the facility. We prepared a Landscape and Visual Appraisal and detailed Landscape Proposals.

The reed bed construction was approved and the reed beds and associated landscape treatment has been implemented.

Liz Lake Associates will be monitoring the landscape works for this water infrastructure project, carrying out regular site inspections and advising the client. This is the first facility of its kind in the world that provides a green solution to a complex engineering problem; the scheme is generating interest from water companies around the world.

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Project Location

South Hanningfield, Essex