. Aveley Marsh

. 114 _ Aveley marsh

South trail boardwalk, close to the Thames river wall, seen under an open sky, typical of the marsh landscape
image credit: Sue Barr | Boardwalk beside Thames embankment.

Initial work on a reserve-wide strategy was followed by design and installation of new wetland areas, boardwalks, bridges and furniture. Work to the boardwalks included installation of handrails to a design pattern developed in close consultation with the RSPB site project team which offers the necessary safety elements whilst responding sensitively to the landscape context.

Handrails are only provided in deep water situations. Where they are used, their discrete form allows users a strong awareness of flora and fauna in the wetland areas close to the trail.

project: type: access | client: RSPB | date: 2007‑2009 | value: £350,000 | status: complete
Wooden boardwalk passing through an area of wet woodland in early morning mist
Wet woodland and access boardwalk.
Boardwalk next to a newly created ditch and reedbed area, running parallel to the Thames wall.
Boardwalk next to new ditch and reedbeds.
Reedbeds in the foreground screen a new section of boardwalk giving access to the nature reserve.
Reedbeds screen a new section of boardwalk giving access to the nature reserve.
Detail of one of the new teaching decks, used by visiting school groups for 'pond-dipping'.
Detail of teaching deck used by visiting school groups.
Detail of wheelchair access ramp to new teaching decks, grasses grow between the concrete planks.
Detail of access ramp to teaching deck.
. Construction

The boardwalks are founded on treated softwood piles driven into the alluvium which makes up the typical ground condition of the site. The handrail uprights use the same generous timber sections as the main piles.

Horizontal spanning rails are made from galvanised steel topped with an oak capping. Bridge spans are formed from treated softwood with piled timber abutments.

Plan of four individual boardwalks set out as a catalogue, comparing scale and plan-forms.
above: Plan catalogue of boardwalks.

below: Construction drawings of teaching deck and habitat bank.
Original construction drawings of habitat bank and teaching decks, plan and sections.
New pool and habitat bank following completion. The new bank is formed from locally sourced 'Orsett Bed' sands.
New wetland pool and habitat bank immediately following completion.