Flood Defences Progress Record: Warrington

Galliford Try / Environment Agency

Another role we regularly perform is to record progress on large flood defence projects. In a previous newsletter, we described our work on the River Ouse in York, but we have also conducted a more recent survey in Warrington.

Here, the Environment Agency commissioned Galliford Try to manage a £34 million flood defence scheme, which is designed to protect more than two thousand local homes and businesses.

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Wall-top Inspection: North Yorkshire

English Heritage

In recent years, we have used UAVs to inspect and photograph a wide range of ancient monuments and heritage buildings – everything from Stonehenge to castles and stately homes. However, one of the services we are most often called upon to deliver involves wall-top inspections.

Many castles and similar structures have lost their roofs over the years, so the tops of walls are left exposed and unprotected. Frost damage and the growth of plants (and even small trees) can then cause damage to the upper parts of the remaining walls. This poses a problem for those responsible for their maintenance, because they are often very difficult to access and inspect.

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Site Progress Record: M62, West Yorkshire


Towards the end of 2018, the transport infrastructure specialist Colas UK announced that it was beginning its second phase of safety improvements on the M62 south of Leeds.

This 42-week phase of works entails widening and extending slip-roads at the Tinsley Junction (junction 28). This follows on from similar improvements carried out by Colas at junction 27, and it will ultimately improve road capacity, reduce congestion and improve the general flow of traffic. The work is being carried out in collaboration with Leeds City Council and Highways England. It is part financed by the UK Government’s £220m Congestion Relief Fund.

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Inspection: Wastewater Pipeline, Stockport

United Utilities

United Utilities recently contacted us with a request for an aerial survey of a 250m elevated pipeline that serves a wastewater treatment plant in Stockport. It wanted to use the results of this inspection to determine repair and maintenance plans.

Pipe bridges and elevated sewers are often inspected manually, but this typically entails the use of scaffolding, which is slow to erect and therefore expensive. A UAV-based  inspection offered an opportunity to make significant time and cost savings.  In this case, overhead powerlines presented an additional  hazard and this lent further weight to the argument in favour of using a drone rather than metal scaffolding.

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Site Progress Record: Roof & High-rise Inspections

Sustainable Building Services (UK) Ltd.

In recent months, we’ve visited construction sites across England and Wales, documenting the results of various improvements to social housing properties.

We’ve been working on behalf of Sustainable Building Services (SBS), a UK-based building contractor that serves housing associations and local authorities UK-wide. Initially, the company asked us to carry out a total of four visits. Two would be to Plas Madoc in North Wales, where SBS has been installing external wall insulation and new roofing to more than 200 properties. The other two visits would be to ‘The Courts’ in Nottingham, where SBS has been managing a ground-breaking energy efficiency scheme on behalf of Nottingham City Homes.

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Heritage Survey: the Roman City of Silchester

English Heritage, Wessex Archaeology

Silchester in Hampshire may not be as well known as some other Romano-British settlements, but it is nevertheless a site of considerable interest to heritage specialists.

The city began in the 1st century BC as Calleva, the pre-Roman homeland of the Atrebates tribe. After the Roman conquest in 43 AD, it grew rapidly and was renamed Calleva Atrebatum. It was abandoned in the 6th or 7th century but, unusually, it was not reoccupied in the medieval period. As a result, no further construction took place and its remains have lain largely undisturbed. Many of the perimeter walls survive, as do parts of the city amphitheatre. In fact, it stands as one of the best preserved Roman towns in Britain. Continue reading “Heritage Survey: the Roman City of Silchester”