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6

|

aspects of land

| spring / summer 2017

NEWS AND VIEWS

iSTOCK

KEY STORIES FROM THE RURAL SECTOR

When floods devastated parts

of Cumbria in 2015, they

washed away the banks of the

River Derwent at the foot of

Cockermouth Castle, leaving

the historic building in danger

of sliding into the river.

The castle is on the

Leconfield Estate, which is

managed by Charles Baker

of Savills Rural Estate

Management. He realised the

severity of the situation and

immediately called inMark

Watt of Savills Rural Building

Surveying. Here Mark

recounts the complex process

of saving a piece of history:

W

e did some

emergency work

to reinstate the

river bank, but then we had to

look at the more permanent

job of stopping the rest of the

hillside from slipping away.

The castle is a listed building

and a scheduled ancient

monument, and the river bank

sits in a Site of Special Scientific

Interest. So there were lots of

agencies involved and consents

needed. Plus it wasn’t an easy

site to access and the castle was

in a precarious position.Then, of

course, we came across invasive

species Himalayan balsam

which had to be dealt with.

The key to everything was

assembling the right team. I

called in some geotechnical

A green mesh that will be sprayed with hydroseed mix will eventually give the slope a natural look

HOW TO SAVE

A CASTLE…

CASTING FOR A CAUSE

STARTS THIS SEASON

Savills is proud to be supporting

Marie Curie’s Casting for a

Cause fundraising initiative.

Casting for a Cause

encourages keen fishermen or

women, or those with fishing on

their land, to run charity events

and competitions to raise money

and awareness for Marie Curie

Nursing services. The charity

supports people living with a

terminal illness.

Fundraising can range from

fishing competitions, to riverside

picnics or a charity raffle.

n

To take part, visit mariecurie.

org.uk/casting-for-a-cause

Could you fish to fundraise?

engineers I’d worked with

previously and a structural

engineer and we drilled some

boreholes and conducted slope

stability assessments and a

topographical survey.

Looking at the different

solutions available, we

established that soil nailing

would fix the ground in the

safest way possible.The nails

are 9 metres and 12 metres long

and are driven into the ground

at a 20° angle, and positioned

so that they don’t disturb the

dungeons under the castle.

We worked across the slope

so we were never in a potential

slip zone and monitored

everything very closely so that

when there was some movement

in the castle buttresses after

heavy rain, we stopped work for

a couple of days to assess and to

give it time to settle.

It took eight weeks to fix

the nails in

place.We

wanted

the end result to look natural,

so there is a green mesh across

the slope and we’ll apply a

hydroseed mix in the spring.

It was a complex piece of

work, but successful. And in a

few months when the vegetation

grows back, you won’t even

know the landslip happened.”

n

Charles Baker, Carlisle, 01228

554 221,

cbaker@savills.com

n

Mark Watt, Darlington, 01325

370 422,

mwatt@savills.com

ABOVE Repair work underway. BELOW The view after the landslide