Thursday, August 09, 2018
Work to replace both jetties at one of Lancashire County Council's outdoor education centres has been completed.
Anchored pontoons have replaced the previous deteriorated timber construction jetties at Tower Wood Outdoor Education Centre, on the shores of Lake Windermere. These pontoons will rise and fall as the depth of the lake changes over time.
The work has taken eight weeks to complete and has cost £222,500.
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.
The new jetties are made of hard-wearing polyethylene, of a pontoon design, and float on the water. This enables greater use of the facilities.
The previous jetties were made from timber and were a fixed height. The decks and approaches from the quay side were stepped, which meant that the jetties couldn't be used when the water level was high.
Now ramps connect the jetties to the shore which have been 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 are fully level and are accessible by a ramp. Wheelchair access has been 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 has been completed to make sure that the quality of facilities we provide there remains high.
"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.
"We're expecting a really busy summer at the centre, especially if the good weather continues, and I hope as many people as possible go along and enjoy the facilities.
"We tried to keep disruption to a minimum whilst the work was being completed so that anyone who wanted to use the facilities was still able to do so.
"The centre is busy all year round now and it was important that we replaced the jetties, so that we continue to provide an exciting programme of activities.
"We've been very careful to tailor the design to meet the strict requirements of this picturesque location in the Lake District National Park. The jetties have also been replaced with a more durable product, which means that we won't need to repair or replace them as often in the future."
It was also important to replace the jetties to maintain the standard and quality of the outdoor centre, especially following the work completed on Windermere Lodge to increase and upgrade accommodation facilities.
Full planning permission for the work to go ahead was approved in January by the Lake District National Park Planning Authority. The Environment Agency 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 has also been met.
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.