The research and development departments of Ecosulis and Aquatic Engineering installed two of their value engineering innovations for the Broads Authority recently. The systems were deployed to control the serious erosion issues of two natural peat islands in the tidal Broad.
Firstly a ‘breathable’ curtain was installed, which allows suspended solids from the highly turbid water column to pass through and then settle out in the calm waters of the enclosure, as part of a free of charge trial for the Broads Authority to demonstrate its effectiveness and potential value.
Glyn Onione, Associate Director of Ecosulis says:
"This is a totally unique and original concept; once we demonstrate its efficiency in ‘the field’ it could be deployed in a whole range of situations to assist eroded sites to gradually ‘heal’ themselves through natural silt accretion, whilst regeneration of the marginal zone within the protected zone simultaneously occurs."
A similar trial funded by the Broads Authority consisting of a recently developed floating island concept, designed, once it’s established, to replicate the natural floating ‘hover’ reedbeds which occur throughout the Broads. Once again the system has been developed to offer erosion protection to the eroding island and also simultaneously entrap suspended solids within the water column.
A third R&D concept is planned for installation on Ranworth Broad in partnership with The Broads Authority and The Norfolk Wildlife Trust in May once over wintering wildfowl have departed. This biomanipulation system has been at design stage for almost two years and has undergone many refinements – Glyn says: “the team are pleased to finally see this deployment and thus demonstrate its ability to restore degraded waters back to the biodiverse habitats they once were”.
All three installations will be jointly monitored by The Broads Authority, Ecosulis and AquaticEngineering over the next few years and the results made known through our website.