Forestry firm called in to do delicate operation for park

MoD call in Tilhill to divert stream running through training ground

Woodland and forestry specialist Tilhill is used to taking on unusual jobs. And when the work entails diverting a stream watched by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Environment Agency, a national park authority and members of the public, you need to be careful. It has been subcontracted by civil engineer Mowlem in Northumberland National Park as part of a £40-million project. Mowlem is upgrading roads on the MoD training area in the park at Otterburn. A lot of horticultural work is also needed and Mowlem gave the £200,000 contract to Tilhill. The Tilhill crew planted reed beds and aquatic plants. Other work involves planting 37,000 trees and seeding different areas. Tilhill landscape contracts manager James England said: “The MoD is building other facilities on the site so we had to divert a stream along a bed we had already prepared. We had to hold consultations about trees and tree roots before we pegged out and then dug the new bed.” Ground preparation includes creating mounds and drainage to improve tree growth. The trees are local provenance broadleaf and conifer trees and will cover 15ha.

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