Paull Holme Strays is the site of the first, major, managed realignment scheme on the Humber estuary in North East England. The embankment bund created by the Environment Agency (EA) in 2003 is part of a flood risk management scheme which provides essential flood defence for farm dwellings and a gas works along with approximately 80ha of new intertidal habitat with associated wildfowl.
In December 2013 the area overtopped and subsequent inspections by the EA noted settlement and cracking within the flood embankment. As such the flood defence no longer conformed to design standards and required reinstating to an improved height to provide a surety of flood defence for residents and landowners.
Our site investigation team were brought in to undertake a ground investigation on the embankment and underlying ground conditions however, the site presented the team with a number of challenges. Adjacent to the Humber Estuary Special Protection Area and possible Special Area of Conservation (pSAC), consideration had to be given to the ecological sensitivity of the area ensuring minimal environmental impact. The team also had to contend with poor access, soft ground and inclement weather.
Using innovative, Vibrating Wire Piezometer instruments complete with remote access nodes and, a web-based Gateway our experts introduced new technologies to help overcome the challenges. These technologies are not often implemented on ground investigation contracts and as such were relatively new to us. However, the planning of such instrumentation was discussed at length with the supply chain prior to fieldwork commencing and trials undertaken within an office environment to ensure that field installation was completed with maximum efficiency and confidence.
The use of these technologies was so successful that we are in the process of developing basic external training to end users on the software and will provide future ongoing assistance.
Feedback from other members of the project team further illustrates our involvement in the project.
“WYG has been a pleasure to work with on this project. From the outset they have been very approachable and helpful. They are very knowledgeable and experienced in the ground investigation field. The quality of their work is to the highest standards and they are very proactive and safety conscious”
Tom Fitzpatrick, Design Project Manager, Atkins/VBA Joint Venture
“Thank you for your perseverance and all the work of yourself and others on this project. Having visited the site I understand the trying conditions of wind and soft soils that have been overcome”
Philip Ward, Geotechnical Engineer, Atkins/VBA Joint Venture