The Great North Fen & Discover Brightwater
At £3.5 million, Discover Brightwater is Durham Wildlife Trust’s biggest project to date. We are the programme leaders for this Landscape Partnership which involves 19 different project streams including river habitat improvements, wetland creation, heritage and archaeology involving local communities around the River Skerne catchment from the Trimdons to Darlington in the south and Shildon in the west.
The Great North Fen is an ambitious vision to return large areas of what was once expansive wetlands, home to a vast array of wildlife, back to a connected, functioning wider wetland landscape. Much of this important habitat has disappeared from the local landscape of the Skerne, drained by industry and agriculture. River channels have been modified and straightened, whilst mine water pumps have kept the ground water aquifer below its natural level.
Today pumping has ceased, returning natural ground water levels, whilst extreme rainfall events, now more common, see the low lying farmland of the Skerne flooding more regularly. A store for water that would otherwise exacerbate flooding to urban areas downstream.
Durham Wildlife Trust is seeking to restore lost features in the River Skerne catchment by creating new areas of wetland and restoring canalised sections of the river channel through the Great North Fen project. The objectives of the Great North Fen project include implementing actions in the Skerne catchment to restore priority wetland habitats including floodplain grazing marsh and lowland fens, and river habitats, based on working with natural processes and natural flood management principles to ensure self-sustaining improvements and resilience, as well as working with landowners and stakeholders to facilitate the delivery of legacy habitat enhancement work beyond the end of the delivery phase of the project.
This specification sets out the works required to deliver habitat creation works at Bishops Fen, Sedgefield, County Durham. Durham Wildlife Trust is acting as the contracting body on behalf of Discover Brightwater. This scheme is currently pending planning permission, with scheme delivery programmed for autumn 2023. Specifically:
- DWT is seeking to appoint a contractor, partnership or consortium to deliver the habitat creation and landscaping works set out in Bishops Fen, Materials and Workmanship Specification, ARUP March 2023, and associated documents.
Tenderers are advised to read the documents carefully to ensure that they are familiar with the nature and content of their obligations if their tender is accepted.