Woburn Forest Holiday Village
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The proposed landscape was designed to be sensitive to this setting whilst at the same time creating an attractive designed landscape that centred around a series of lakes in a woodland environment. The overall aesthetic aim of the designed landscape is to be at one with nature within a forest and water environment whilst absorbing the harder civil engineering elements required such as dams, pathways, roads and buildings.

As part of our works, we constructed a series of new lakes to replace the previous dams, rivers and waterways that managed surface water within the plantation. This included a 16,000m2 attractive central sports lake set within the retained woodland. Water was contained with a robust polymer liner protected against erosion and finished with pre-grown reed mats around the water line. The construction of the lakes required significant temporary works to manage surface and groundwater flow during construction including diverting the existing streams and constructing temporary flumes and silt fencing to manage overland flows.

Woburn Forest Parc is a holiday village and leisure resort set in 350 hectares of designed landscape. The Parc comprises 700 lodges, a hotel, two leisure, sport and retail complexes and extensive infrastructure in a woodland setting all centred around a network of lakes and reservoirs. Walters were initially contracted by Birse to undertake bulk earthworks on the scheme to create development plateaus and basins for the lake. However, due to the success of our works, the acceleration of the main programme and our positive approach to managing change, our scope of works was expanded significantly to incorporate additional works including roads, drainage, landscaping, site clearance and much of the infrastructure and retaining structures required for the construction of the lakes. The site, previously known as Millbrook Warren, forms part of the Bedford Estate, an historic landscape owned by the Dukes of Bedford since the 13th century.

Dam Structures

Behind the natural appearance of the central lake, was an 8m high embankment dam engineered from selected site-won clay material. Due to the size and setting of the lake, it was designed and constructed to meet the stringent safety standards necessary to achieve certification under the Reservoirs Act.

Cultural / Natural Heritage

The great majority of the Woburn site is designated as a County Wildlife Site (CWS) and contains high value areas of broadleave woodland and wet woodland (a local Biodiversity Action Plan habitat). The site contained 34 species of birds, including the lesser spotted woodpecker, and many other ecological constraints including reptiles, badgers, otters and bats. Our works were undertaken in strict accordance with the wider ecological mitigation and management plans.

Continuing Public Access

The site lies in a landscape with an extensive network of Public Rights of Way (PROW) including footpaths bridleways and byways. We worked to safely segregate our works from PROW”s using fencing, signage and local publicity.

Footbridge Construction

The primary lake subsequently had a pier installed to enable the mooring of boats and the wider scheme included several footbridges constructed over drainage channels and as part of the building works.