Far Sawrey Retaining Wall

Re-instatement of the slope on the lakeside of the B5285
Cumbria County Council
B5285, Far Swarey
NEC3 Option C


A geotechnical survey commissioned by Cumbria County Council concluded that the washout of the rip-rap dry stone was due to wave erosion during the December 2015 storms.

This subsequently led to the undermining of the B5285 road, approximately two metres above Lake Windermere in various areas.

Lake Windermere is an Environment Agency river and the works were to be undertaken in a SSSI area.

Cumbria County Council appointed EWCE through the Capital Schemes Framework as the Principal Design & Build Contractor to design the re-instatement of the slope on the lakeside of the B5285, to construct the new retaining wall of approximately 135m in length and undertake placement of new rock armour and reinstatement works to the carriageway.

Key Challenges

A key risk on this project was the risk of contamination of the watercourse, given the proximity of the works to the Lake.

Prior to the works commencing a line of silt fencing was installed to prevent any contamination in addition to seeking the necessary permits from the Environment Agency.

The Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) has a site close to the works and was a key stakeholder during the project. Important research is being undertaken using the facilities at the site which were drawing water from the lake and therefore any contamination would be deemed catastrophic on their 10 year project.

A brief presentation supplied by FBA was included in the Site Induction to ensure that all employees, subcontractors and visitors to the site were aware of the research work being undertaken in the area and the risk to that work of contamination to the Lake.


Another key risk identified prior to the works commencing was the possibility of bats roosting in the trees earmarked for removal. EWCE employed a Natural England bat licenced ecologist to be in attendance during the felling of the trees however evidence of roosting was not evident during the ecologist’s survey of the site.

Added Value

EWCE phased the works during the day with some innovative logistical planning.

The works had been planned by the client to take place during nighttime working however EWCE’s approach removed the need for this and provided a better outcome for all parties.

EWCE and their designer partner added a Salix erosion protection geotextile to the low risk areas of the bank; this reduced the need to import large rock armour material and reduced vehicle movements throughout the project.

Client Feedback

“An excellent overall performance supported by landowner commendation.”
Robert Scofield
Project Manager, Mott MacDonald
Civil Engineering / Highways / Structures
Civil Engineering / Highways / Structures
Civil Engineering / Highways / Structures
Civil Engineering / Highways / Structures

Get in Touch

For all enquiries, please get in touch with the team here at Eric Wright.