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New cells formed at Cambridge research centre

ARMATER HONEYCOMB geosynthetic has been used to secure topsoil and create 'natural' grass drainage channel banks on a new business park near Cambridge.

Armater, supplied by Maccaferri, forms cells into which topsoil is placed, reducing surface run-off erosion and preventing gullies forming. The porous material enables water to flow slowly through the hexagonal cells, avoiding ponding at the base of the cell.

Cambridge Research Park, in a semi-rural area 3km north of the city, is a 45ha site for bio-technology and research & development companies. It is being developed by Slough Estates, with Scott Wilson as lead consultant for the site formation and infrastructure.

Buildings sit around natural and artificial lakes. To ensure adequate drainage, a series of steep sided ditches typical of the surrounding fenland were incorporated in the landscape design.

The reinforced earth ditches have 1:1 side slopes. While providing very effective drainage, the steep sides needed support for topsoil and vegetation. Contractor Whiting Landscape installed 5000m 2of Armater for the soft landscaping, with work overseen by project manager View Point.

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