TPA Pontoons help Ecosulis “walk on water”

16 Jan
Ecological consultancy Ecosulis carries its own fleet of 50 floats but turns exclusively to TPA Pontoons when it needs additional resources, as it has done for a number of projects over the years, most recently at the University of Warwick.

The projects

At the University of Warwick, TPA Pontoons were required for two weeks to help house a three-tonne excavator to remove approximately 500m3 of silt from the pond and into three newly created revetments. These new revetments, created utilising wooden posts and Nicospan, were backfilled with silt from the pond and planted out with flowering plants to improve the view from an adjacent public footpath.

Ecosulis also undertook the restoration of Vale Lake at the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus, where TPA Pontoons were required for six weeks to supply enough pontoon and aluminium planks to house a three-tonne excavator, silt pump and armoured pipework to move over 13,000m3 of silt from the internal part of the lake to the newly created revetments along two sides of the lake, which when completed were planted up with 16,000 mixed marginal plants.

TPA’s relationship with Ecosulis’s actually began the year at the Environment Agency’s Attenborough Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire, a 150-hectare complex of lakes created from gravel extraction. TPA Pontoons again provided the stable water platform for Ecosulis to provide and improve the protection for the newly created flood alleviation scheme. The provided platforms were involved in three different operations across the summer, from the installation of floating reedbeds, to the translocation of established reeds across the site, and finishing with the removal of wildfowl prevention measures protecting the planting areas when originally planted. So successful was this newly created habitat that it was colonised by bittern (one of the rarest bird species) in the UK, along with other species of wildfowl, within one season.


Ecosulis require stable platforms for excavators up to five tonnes and staff to work from when working with silt and dredging water bodies, to access areas where large plant is unable to go or reach. Utilising TPA supplied aluminium panels helps the excavators access the pontoon platforms and use them as a flat base for them to work from. This enables Ecosulis to work quickly and efficiently. 


Ecosulis senior project manager Nick May has built up a good working relationship with TPA Pontoons over the years and has ever only used TPA systems to provide assistance and hire on projects. On all projects so far, TPA’s modular plastic Versadock pontoons were supplied, complete with anchoring legs and/or aluminium planks. And in the case of Warwick University, TPA provided additional structural engineering assistance with the loadings and pontoon size.

Client comment

Nick May said: “I only ever go to TPA. I have been using them since I joined Ecosulis in 2014 and long may it continue. They do exactly the job that I pay them to do. When you are working on water you are dealing with a subject matter that moves on you quite quickly, so you need to have faith in a system that minimises that. Also, the team at TPA are also very attentive, helpful and knowledgeable.”