Environmental Pollution and Remediation Field Trip – where there’s muck, there’s brass!


Masters students and staff from the Environmental Pollution and Remediation module (NS7907) had a fantastic site visit to Sandford Farm in Reading last week. The purpose of the trip was to examine the pollution that had occurred on the site, and discuss the remediation strategies being employed.

The site has previously been subjected to extensive quarrying with the formation of gravel pits.  Following the completion of quarrying at the site, these gravel pits were filled with a combination of industrial / commercial waste. VertaseFLI has been employed to undertake remediation works required at the site to allow its redevelopment for residential land use together with the creation of large areas of Public Open Space.

We were hosted by Dave Jacob, from Environmental and Engineering Consultants RSK Environment Ltd who have been contracted to perform environmental monitoring of the site throughout the project. Upon arrival, we had a really informative introductory talk by Gavin Moore, the Project Manager for the site. We then walked around the site, discussing the types of pollution and the various stages of the remediation, with Dave, Gavin and Duncan Scott (the geoenvironmental engineer for the project). Remediation consists of removing, sorting, shredding and returning 95% (an incredibly high percentage) of the waste to site. Wood is being chipped and used for development of a nearby country park. Tyres, textiles and metal are being removed from site for recycling. The sorted waste is tested for total organic content before being returned to site in specific areas and preloaded to stabilise the ground prior to development. We were then treated to an excellent lunch before returning to Cheltenham.

The site visit is an important part of the module. It allows students to get into the field and apply their theoretical knowledge of contaminated land and related policies to an on-going case study. It also contributes to the high level of professional practice into the model, exposing students to current practioners and providing networking opportunities. We are also grateful to have guest speakers from WSP Environmental contribute to the module, with an informative and interesting half day talk/discussion session on contaminated land and remediation, including their work on the Olympic Park at Stratford in London.

Dr Sally Rogers & Julia Webb, Senior Lecturers in Biosciences

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