Articles & Case Studies

Operation ferret

Posted: Friday 1st February 2013

The engineers from Lanes for Drains have found some weird and wonderful things in drains, but a team from the East Midlands depot were surprised to come face to face with a friendly ferret whilst on a routine cleanse and survey project.

The furry pet appeared as they had finished jetting the drain and were preparing to send the CCTV camera in, as part of the £580 million, Nottingham Express Transit tramway extension scheme.

Says Lanes’ engineer Michael Patterson: “We suddenly saw a head peeping out of the pipe but didn’t realise what it was at first. Then one of our traffic management guys came over and threw a chicken sandwich into the manhole chamber which enticed the animal out of the pipe. It was then we saw that it was a ferret.”

Michael and teammate Martyn Jones called Wayne Batham, site engineer for the main contractor, Taylor Woodrow and Alstom Consortium:

“I thought it was a joke when the guys rang me,” says Wayne. “But meantime the whole scheme had come to a standstill whilst plans were made for ‘operation rescue ferret’!

“Michael had had the foresight to call the local RSPCA. Meanwhile, another Lanes operative — one with previous experience of ferrets — managed to capture the creature, just as the RSPCA officer arrived.”

“A passerby said that a nearby pub had lost a ferret,” says Michael. “It seems they had a problem with rats so borrowed two ferrets for pest control purposes. Both ferrets went down the drain but only one came back.”

Fortunately this is an animal tale with a happy ending. The AWOL rat-catcher had been missing for a couple of days so the owner was delighted to be reunited with his ferret friend. The ferret, meanwhile, who seemed to be fit and healthy despite his ordeal, was too busy finishing his chicken dinner to comment!

— ends —

Background information:

Lanes Group plc

The Lanes Group plc includes Lanes for Drains, the UK’s largest independent drainage specialist; Lanes Sewer Renovation; Lanes Rail Division and Castlebrae Drainage Services. The Group operates from 21 depots across the UK, with 889 staff and a turnover for 2011 of £49 million.

Nottingham Express Transit (NET) Phase Two will:
• Generate construction work opportunities for local companies and people, as well as stimulating the local economy to generate long term employment growth of up to 8,000 jobs and could boost the local economy by around £390m per year.
• Provide access to about 1270 City workplaces, to which about 55,000 employees commute, and a further 600 workplaces in Beeston/Chilwell.
• Serve two of the three biggest employers in Greater Nottingham – The University of Nottingham and the Queen’s Medical Centre.
• Serve 20 of the 30 largest employers in Greater Nottingham, who will be within 800m of a tram stop.
• NET Phase Two will enhance accessibility to nearly 30% of the Greater Nottingham population, who will be within 800 metres of a tram stop.
• Information about NET Phase two can be viewed on:

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