Burghley House: Pond cascade restoration

The client: Burghley House Preservation Trust

The site: Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire, is arguably one of the finest surviving Elizabethan houses in England. The house was built by William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth’s Lord High Treasurer, construction began in 1555 and continued into the 1580s. There are more than 2000 acres of gardens and parkland maintained at Burghley House, including a sculpture garden and deer park. Parkland is open free to the public all year round.

The brief: To restore and repair the 11 trout hatchery ponds which feature in the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, they form a pond cascade which leads into the lake situated within the impressive parkland. To also remove any invasive New Zealand Pigmyweed (Crassula helmsii) from the ponds, this will consequently reduce silting of the lake.

Our solution: We removed silt and vegetation from the 11 ponds and repaired the historically engineered sluices, weirs and silt traps back to original working order. We improved the habitats of the ponds for the protected White Clawed Crayfish, this was achieved through installation of refuges including rocky debris and clay pipes in the pond walls, and with the provision of crayfish ladders to help movement of the species upstream. During restoration the original Staffordshire blue bricks were used wherever possible to mirror the characteristic bricks of Burghley House.

The result: Improved habitat for the protected White Clawed Crayfish, reduced silting of the lake and a more attractive parkland to be enjoyed by the public.

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