Thursday, May 10, 2018
Work to replace both jetties at one of Lancashire County Council's outdoor education centres will start next month.
From Monday 4 June, the existing deteriorated timber construction jetties at Tower Wood Outdoor Education Centre, on the shores of Lake Windermere, will be replaced with anchored pontoons. These will rise and fall as the depth of the lake changes over time.
The work is expected to be completed in July at an approximate cost of £210,000.
This follows an application for full planning permission which was approved in January by the Lake District National Park Planning Authority. The Environment Agency has also issued an environmental permit to carry out the work. South Lakeland District Council's required permissions to dredge and encroach on the lake bed have also been met.
Tower Wood provides outdoor adventure facilities for schools, youth groups, corporate groups, adults and families. The new jetties will enable water-based activities such as barrel-rafting, canoeing and sailing to continue to be offered at the centre, even when the water level is high.
The current jetties are made from timber and are a fixed height. The decks and approaches from the quay side are stepped, meaning that the jetties can't be used when the water level is high.
The replacement jetties, made of hard-wearing polyethylene, will be of a pontoon design and will float on the water, enabling greater use of the facilities.
Ramps connecting the jetties to the shore are designed to change angle with the rise and fall of the water level.
To assist people with mobility problems, hoists will continue to be used to transfer visitors to and from the boats. To help with this, the replacement jetties will be fully level and will be able to be accessed by a ramp. Wheelchair access will be enabled as far as possible.
County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: "We're really proud of Tower Wood, and this work is being done to make sure that the quality of facilities we provide there remains at such a high level.
"The new jetties are an important part of this thriving education and outdoor campus, allowing all visitors to experience a number of water-based activities.
"This summer is expected to be really busy at the centre, and we are working with the construction company to keep any disruption to a minimum. Anyone who wants to use these facilities whilst the work is happening should be able to do so.
"The centre is busy all year round now and it is important that we replace the jetties, so that we can continue to provide an exciting programme of activities.
"We've made sure that the design is tailored to meet the strict requirements of this picturesque location in the Lake District National Park. The jetties will also be replaced with a more durable product, which means that we won't need to repair or replace them as often."
Replacing the jetties is also important to maintain the standard and quality at the outdoor centre, following the work completed on Windermere Lodge to increase and upgrade accommodation facilities.
This new building won a prestigious national Small Project category in the Society for Public Architecture, Construction, Engineering and Surveying (SPACES) Civic Building of the Year competition in 2015.