LDC Ltd, although only recently formed, encompasses many years of experience working for MAFF/ADAS in the Land Drainage Industry. This experience includes the design of agricultural and sports field drainage, mitigation schemes for developments such as mineral extraction sites, new highways, pipelines, and flood risk assessments and control for development sites. LDC Ltd can also advise on the construction of amenity, flood storage and irrigation ponds as well as the creation of wetland areas incorporating realignment of watercourses and construction of associated ponds, reed beds, meanders, riffles, ox bow lakes etc.
Recent years has seen a gradual deterioration in the land drainage status of agricultural land. This has been caused by a number of factors, not least the withdrawal of Government Grants and the general downturn in the agricultural economy. In many situations fields are starting to show the signs of impeded drainage. Poor drainage results in reductions of crop yield and working windows which both adversely affect gross margins as well as rental and capital land values.
The option of intensively re-draining may be neither necessary nor economic. Frequently the cause is down to factors such as ingress of roots, siltation of mains, soil compaction, submerged or blocked outfalls etc.
Before any remedial work can be considered it is vitally important that the drainage and soils of a particular field or area is fully understood. In some cases farmers and landowners will have comprehensive plans and in others no information at all. Drainage is complex and has developed over hundreds of years and in most areas old clay tile schemes will exist which may have been long forgotten.
Throughout our surveys we would be mindful of environmental and flood risk issues and can give specialist advice on these topics.
Existing 'greenfield' runoff assessments can be made together with calculations of any buffer storage that may be required by the Environment Agency for 'hard' development in the countryside eg poultry houses, concrete yards, new buildings etc.
LDC.Ltd carries out detailed assessments which can take the following format depending on the clients' circumstances.
This would involve the inspection of any available plans and gathering of other relevant information from the landowner together with an on site inspection of the field, outfalls and soils.
Trial excavations using an experienced drainage contractor would be carried out if it was necessary to check for the existence, depth and condition of existing schemes and to locate possible outfalls. Levels may be required coupled with the use of drain dye and rods to assist in building up a comprehensive understanding of the drainage of the area. This can be complicated particularly on large estates where main outfalls may be as deep as 2m and may in some areas pass underneath minor ditches.
The information gathered can be plotted on a master plan for future reference. A short report can be produced detailing and prioritising any improvements that may be required together with likely costings. We are also able to produce reports on the existing condition of soils, topography and drainage status. These can be accompanied by digital and aerial photography as required. Such surveys can be useful if the site is threatened form any kind of development e.g. mining subsidence, pipelines, new highways etc.
Any remedial or improvement work that is identified from the surveys would be fully discussed with the landowner or agent. This may take a variety of forms according to the findings and the clients requirements. Recommendations may include one or more of the following: - soil loosening, drain jetting, outfall improvements, ditching, clearing of roots, installation of new drains etc.
LDC Ltd can carry out the remedial works on behalf of the client if required using a 'tried and tested' sub contractor. Alternatively should a specific contractor be preferred then we will be more than happy to work with them. Supervision can be provided during installation to ensure that the specification is adhered to and make any minor changes to a scheme that may prove necessary as installation progresses.
If intensive drainage is required then detailed land drainage proposal plans can be provided for all purposes including pipeline and development type schemes. This could include the design on new access culverts, piped ditches and major watercourse rerouting work. We can also seek approval from third parties including IDBs, Environment Agency, Planning etc. If there is a significant amount of work to be carried out we can draw up proposal plans with full tender documentation and scheme specifications and put the work out to tender to ensure the keenest price possible is obtained for the capital works.
LDC Ltd can provide a full plan service. This can include the drawing up of proposal and final plans and can include a full level survey. Additionally plans of existing schemes can be placed onto a farm plan for farm record purposes. It is also possible to provide field working files and plans which are laminated and can be taken out into the field. All plans are electronically recorded and can be provided on CDs for future reference by the client.
LDC Ltd can give general advice on any water/drainage/soils related issues. We specialise in development and restoration schemes such as pipelines, new highways, mineral extraction etc.
We can also give advice on any legal aspects of drainage that may arise. Single or Joint Expert Witness Reports can be produced for potential 'Court Cases' and advice can also be given under aspects of the Land Drainage Act for an Agricultural Lands Tribunal conflict. For more information on our Expert Witness Services, please click here.