Installation of the replacement pipeline in Chobham Common has been completed.
For the majority of Chobham Common, the heathland habitat either side of the track will be left to naturally regenerate. This is part of our approval for working in this environmentally protected site and was the basis of the Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA).
Natural regeneration can take a few years and requires the bare soils to be left in-situ. While visually this leaves bare earth, natural regeneration is endorsed by environmental organisations as best practice for the reinstatement of heathland as it exploits the natural seed bank in the area.
Pedestrian access to the common will be available throughout works. Where paths cross our working area, we will either create crossing points or have signposted diversions in place.
The car parks serving Chobham Common will remain open throughout works.
We used an open cut technique to install through most of the common. Chobham Common is a Special Protection Area (SPA), featuring birds protected under European regulations that cannot be disturbed during nesting periods. This means we can only work in the area through the winter months, so we have adapted our timeline to work around the nesting season.
Due to this seasonal restraint, installation work can only take place in the autumn and winter months. In order to construct within the seasonal constraints, we completed the trenchless works in February 2022. In autumn 2022 we completed a small section of open cut works to connect the trenchless crossings installed last winter, and completed the open cut sections in winter 2022.
We used a Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) trenchless technique to install in specific areas within Chobham Common.
Chobham Common is a Special Protection Area (SPA), featuring birds protected under European regulations that cannot be disturbed during nesting periods. This means we can only work in the area through the winter months, so we have adapted our timeline to work around the nesting season.
The trenchless sections of the replacement pipeline were completed in February 2022.
The work areas are fully secure with locked gates and 24-hour security.
We also have a voluntary Environmental Investment Programme (EIP) across the 97km project.
At Chobham Common, these activities include: