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Dredging works restoring water quality, ecological balance and improved overall conditions of the lake and natural habitats. ​ Ashton Park

3 Week time frame
Ashton Park- West Kirby
Dredging works

Ashton Park is an attractive Edwardian Park situated in a residential area close to West Kirby town centre. The park is a beautiful and rich natural environment boasting a range of habitats for local wildlife including an ornamental lake located in the middle of the park. ​

Over the years, a build-up of silt has accumulated on the lakebed resulting in reduced depths, impacting on biodiversity, water quality and fish welfare, with additional impacts of reducing the quality of boating for the local club. Wirral Council have invested in a programme of restorative works which will see the lake benefit from a much clearer watercourse and an enhancement of biodiversity for local wildlife and the community.​

Working within strict budget restrictions, the dredging works on the lake commenced using a silt pusher and 20- ton excavator, pushing silt to a pinpoint and being retrieved by the excavator. By removing sediment buildup from the lake and restoring depth to the required volume, this improved water quality, created ecological balance and improved overall conditions of the lake and for boaters.​

​Given that the sediment was hazardous, and very limited space on site, offsite disposal was required. Ebsford have always prioritized the reuse and recover. By using Augean, it enabled the client and Ebsford the opportunity for material recovery as opposed to straight disposal. Doing this had many positive features such as sustainability and carbon benefits. 

The project required a vast amount of community engagement being within an urban, public park. This included engagement with local residents to inform them of parking restrictions and planned works and the design and issue of leaflets, flyers and information boards.​

Included within this was a community day and school visits. Ashton Parks Community Day was a great initiative to engage the local community in the improvement and maintenance of the park. Ebsford's presence to answer questions and discuss plans for enhancing the habitat shows a commitment to involving the community in the process. By actively involving residents, the project can ensure that the improvements align with the needs and desires of the local community, raising a sense of ownership and pride in the park's development. Such community engagement events are crucial for building trust and collaboration between stakeholders and ensuring the long-term success of conservation and improvement efforts.​

The local school took part in multiple activities such as bird box designing, river and site designing and plenty more insightful activities. Such hands-on experiences are invaluable for instilling environmental awareness and inspiring positive action throughout the community.

When conducting works within a waterbody like Ashton Park, it's crucial to consider ecological impacts. Surveys have revealed the lake's high ecological value, particularly for fish species such as Carp (including the Brown goldfish), Rudd, and unexpectedly, Eels!​

Given the sensitivity of the ecosystem, desilting works were scheduled for the winter months when water oxygen levels are highest, minimizing risks to fish populations. Despite the reduced risk, and the pond not being designed to stock fish. Ebsford and the council agreed to the proactive measure of conducting a fish rescue before dredging begins. ​

The rescued fish were relocated to Port Sunlight Angling Club. This cautious approach underscores the commitment to preserving the local ecosystem while improving waterbody conditions and meeting client needs. Fulltime monitoring and communication was required to ensure any fish left was unharmed


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