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ECOLOGICAL ENGINEERING
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6.0 Construction

6.1 Intake Reed Beds

The view from the hill shows the early construction of the undulating retaining walls.

The next step was to add a level layer of sand, which in turn formed a soft base for laying on the butyl rubber. All four of the 250m2 compartments were independent of one another.

The newly planted reed bed showing the black pipes (made from recycled material) used for spraying the river water evenly over the surface of the gravel.

6.2 Outdoor Breeding Ponds

Breeding terrace showing the small, approximately five square metre ponds. They were lined by recycling the existing plastic liner previously used for holding the reed stock prior to replanting in the intake reedbed.

The timber used as boundary were ex-coal mine props recovered from a nearby colliery.

The stone was picked from the large amount of limestone donated from Cadeby quarry.

6.3 Hatchery & Aquatic Ecology Centre

6.3.1 Barrel tanks

Recycled barrels originally used for holding shoe polish. After cleaning they were laid on their side in a wooden rack with the upper section cut out. Finally, taps were inserted in the base where the flowing water discharged into a common gutter.

6.3.2 Suspended water bags & Bottle tanks

This innovative design considered the use of 4 ply butyl rubber stitched and suspended on a steel scaffolding frame. The main advantage of the bags was their ease of assembling and transport.

In the background can be seen the 'bottle tanks' which were empty wine bottles siliconed together on to a plate glass base.

6.3.3 Sleeper & Bath tanks

In the foreground are the 'sleeper tanks', effectively, ex-railway sleepers providing a wooden frame with the inner lined with rubber.

A research initiative in partnership with Hull International Fisheries Institute saw the continuation of the theme of recycling by the use of old baths included in the system below. This was part of the analysis of watercress and other aquatic water plants as a filtration mechanism for Tilapia culture.

6.3.4 Aquatic Ecology Centre

Front view of the centre that also incorporated a working hatchery

Roughly a third of the building was dedicated to demonstrating freshwater ecology with a laboratory for children to identify pond life.

Local schools helped to compile educational materials for visiting children. The exhibit above illustrates the different species of freshwater fish cultured in the hatchery and that are present in the local rivers.
(n.b. It also worthwhile noting that the glass for the aquariums was reused from an office block refurbishment in a neighbouring town)

View into the Aquatic Ecology Centre

6.4 Nursery Ponds

Nursery Pond Construction

The outline shape of the pond is achieved first by the use of mechanised machinery.

Laying the carpet of bentonite panels requires an overlap of 10cms per roll.
Following completion of the the liner, a 10cm layer of subsoil formed
a protective buffer zone between the final topping of limestone chippings.
The trench around the top of the pond is used to anchor the liner.

The bezinal coated gabion baskets being erected and placed on a bed of concrete above the bentonite/subsoil base

The final pond to be completed was on 15 September 1994 volunteers worked together simultaneously laying benonite and installing and filling gabion baskets with stone and broken bricks. The open section of the wooden monk can be seen in the foreground

The completed 'dry' pond illustrating the internal gabion filled structure. The section between the gabion wall and the outer pond bund was infilled with subsoil and planted with marginal plants

The completed wooden monk or wooden sluice was constructed by trainees from a 'sustainably managed' source of oak, to a historical design undertaken by European Monasteries (monks - hence the name).

6.5 Outlet Reed Bed

The outlet reed bed initially comprised of a 20 cm deep scrape which was lined with donated plastic film and utilised as a holding area in preparation for the transfer of reeds.
(n.b. the liner was later reused for the breeding ponds)

The Local Drainage Authority informed the Earth Centre of a large amount of reeds freely available, due to drainage maintenance being undertaken at Scunthorpe. The reeds were excavated and transported to the holding ponds.

Transferring the plants to the intake reedbed system. On the upper right of the picture is a small stand of common reeds (Phragmites), which were temporary fenced before earthmoving began.

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© 2007 Fishace