Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Thursday 26th March 2020

A leaking historic lake in the grounds of a stately home, once used to monitor Nazi broadcasts, has been successfully fixed thanks to Terraqua Environmental Solutions (TES), part of the Land & Water Group.

Currently owned by the BBC, Caversham Park is a Grade II listed manor house set in glorious gardens with stunning views across the Thames Valley. With a history dating back to Norman times, the current building was constructed in 1850 and was designed by famed architect Horace Jones, who also designed London’s iconic Tower Bridge.

The lake, along with the park and gardens, was refashioned by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in the 1760s, at the instruction of its then owner Charles Cadogan.

The owners were keen for the leak to be stopped quickly, with minimal disruption to the surrounding gardens.

Initially TES’s investigations led them to believe that the cause of the leak was likely to either be a tree root percolation or fracture, a break to a historic drain downpipe or simply drains rotting or collapsing. In any instance, it was clear this needed to be quickly and permanently addressed.

Subsequent detailed site inspections involved unearthing an existing manhole which was part of the irrigation system for the property’s historic market garden.

To stop the leak, TES engineers piled a semi-circle of 4m sheet piles from the dam crest around the manhole to seal it. They found that the source of the problem was an existing outlet pipe which was then disconnected and blocked. Engineers filled the manhole cover with clay to prevent it from happening again.

Jill Green, Biodiversity Projects at TES said: “This was a really interesting project, not only because of the nature of the work but also because of Caversham Park’s history.

Access to the site was tricky, not least due to a huge amount of rain and the 45 degree angle of the access road down to the lake. Despite this, we successfully completed the task over a two-week period and finished it just before Christmas 2019.”

Meanwhile, the Estates Co-Ordinator for BBC Workplace, expressed Caversham Park’s satisfaction with the project: “It all looks great. TES did an excellent job and managed the works and site very well”.

Thanks to Terraqua’s work, this glorious lake lives on to tell more tales for future generations, whilst providing a vital and valuable habitat for wildlife. Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE

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August 2021

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