Thursday, 19 February 2015

New dredging equipment for the Broads

The Wherry Gleaner
The Broads Authority has taken charge of a second new mud wherry as part of a ten year strategy to replace old equipment.

Much of the equipment was given at no charge to the Authority when it bought the Griffin Lane dockyard from May Gurney in 2008 and it was always known it had a limited life and would need replacement.

Named Gleaner after an old timber sailing wherry that carried cargo into Norwich, the new wherry has been built to a bespoke design by local naval architect Andrew Wolstenholme to transport sediment dredged from the rivers to other locations for re-use. She was constructed in Ireland by John Kearney, the builder of her sister wherry Iona and has joined her in dredging the River Ant this winter.

This new design of wherry is smaller at 16.5m long and can carry up to 40 tonnes of sediment in the hold. It is stable, manoeuvrable and is small enough to navigate the narrower rivers like the Chet and Ant.

A third wherry of the same design as Iona and Gleaner is being commissioned with delivery due at the end of 2015.

Also retiring is a steel hulled barge with a crane mounted inside which has  given many years’ service removing sediment from the Broads. The crane is being removed and her spare parts recycled to help maintain the other cranes.

It is being replaced with a versatile 360 long reach excavator which will sit on linkflotes and dredge using a new hydraulic clam shell bucket.

Rob Rogers, Head of Construction, Maintenance and Environment, said:
“Over the last four years we have purchased three long reach hydraulic excavators, two new wherries and a set of four linkflotes.

“Maintaining the navigation of the Broads National Park requires different plant and equipment, as the width and depth of the rivers and broads varies, meaning a combination of small and large vessels are required. Modern excavators are able to swap between dredging, offloading, landscaping, watercourse management and piling much easier than the traditional grab cranes and offer a more versatile service.

The investment in the new equipment and vessels demonstrates the Broads Authority’s commitment to improving water depth, maintaining safe, clearly marked channels and minimising disruption to the users of the waterbodies.”

9 comments:

  1. “Maintaining the navigation of the Broads National Park"? - get it right, Mr Rogers, the Broads Authority has no responsibility for maintaining the navigation of the Broads National Park. Their legal responsibility, as set out in statute, The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act to be precise, in which the Broads is also legally defined, is to "maintain the navigation area for the purposes of navigation to others in relation such standard as appears to it to be reasonably required". No mention there of any national park, as the Act only refers to the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, or the Broads.

    Perhaps Mr Rogers can tell us which statute says that the Broads Authority has to maintain the navigation of the Broads National Park. I await his response with interest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. “Maintaining the navigation of the Broads National Park"? - get it right, Mr Rogers, the Broads Authority has no responsibility for maintaining the navigation of the Broads National Park. Their legal responsibility, as set out in statute, The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act to be precise, in which the Broads is also legally defined, is to "maintain the navigation area for the purposes of navigation to others in relation such standard as appears to it to be reasonably required". No mention there of any national park, as the Act only refers to the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, or the Broads.

    Perhaps Mr Rogers can tell us which statute says that the Broads Authority has to maintain the navigation of the Broads National Park. I await his response with interest.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Kim,

    The Broads Authority took the decision in January to name the Broads a National Park, without involving any statutory or legal changes, to more effectively reflect is equivalent national park status. The move followed a three month consultation and legal advice. We also took into account the views of Defra who were content with it and the unanimous support from all the other members of the National Park family.

    Full details can be found in the report here: http://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/525297/Branding-the-Broads-ba230115.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am well aware of the decision to rename the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, falsely, as the Broads National Park. However, Mr Rogers hasn't answered my question. Perhaps he could be asked to comment on it.

    Or perhaps someone else could answer this question: Is the Broads legally a national park? Yes or no?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I forgot to say that Defra were NOT content with the renaming. All the letters I have seen only say that they are content for the Authority to make the decision - which is not the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. In addition to the re-branding of the Broads to BNP 'for marketing purposes only', insult has now been added to injury to the Broads maritime heritage by re-branding these Wolstenholme designed dredging barges as wherries to dredge the BNP.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "more effectively reflect is equivalent national park status" so let me get this absolutely correct...The Norfolk Broads, which is not a National Park, is being called a National Park to highlight that its the equivalent of a National Park, which means it's not a National Park and this has unanimous support from National Parks which have no legislation or geographic context in common with the Broads other than that they are National Parks and the Broads is not a National Park?

    ReplyDelete
  8. The linked report is very transparent on the legal question, to summarise the Broads has equivalent status of a National Park and is part of the 15-strong National Park family (in answer to the comment about commonality) but is not defined legally as a National Park. Defra were content with the move for the Authority to make the decision and the decision was for the Broads to be called a National Park.

    All the information pertaining to the rebranding can be found in the linked report.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rebranding will have a detrimental effect on the Broads, the public do not like being deceived.

      Delete