ENVIRONMENTAL: Project Complete: Icelandic River Restoration Training
McGowan Environmental Engineering have enjoyed a close working relationship with cbec eco-engineering UK Ltd for many years and last week, we joined them on a trip to Iceland to deliver River Restoration training to ON Power and a local contractor.
The comprehensive training programme was delivered over 7-days with a range of River Restoration techniques and environmental methodologies covered. This was a pioneering project for everyone involved and we hope that our shared best practices will help support future restoration works across the country.
Sam Hesling, Environmental Contracts Manager at McGowan, was proud to be involved and said:
“We were delighted to have had the opportunity to spend a week in Iceland assisting in delivering practical training in the installation of large wood structures in riverbank restoration. Teamwork was key to making the training a success and all parties worked closely together to achieve this. The competency of the local contracting team cannot be overstated. We were pleased to see that our training in the techniques and sequencing of the work was quickly picked-up. We would like to thank Jón from Icelandic power company ON Power for making us feel so welcome.”
Blair McGowan, Site Supervisor at McGowan, added:
“Being able to use my experience to help train a local contractor on how to implement riverbank protections works was amazing and having the opportunity to work in a country like Iceland made the experience even more special. Being the person to place the first large wood structure into a riverbank in Iceland is something I won’t forget. The project team were welcoming and professional and hopefully we’ll be able to work with them again in the future.”
Jón Örvar G Jónsson, Project Manager at ON Power, was clearly happy with the service provided and stated:
“ON Power worked with Sam and Blair from McGowan Environmental Engineering, under the guidance of Hamish Moir from cbec, on the Andakíls‘ riverbank restoration project. Sam and Blair were very supportive and worked seamlessly with the Icelandic contractors, teaching and guiding them throughout. The work was characterized by good communication, team spirit and total commitment on Sam‘s and Blair‘s part to share their know-how with the local contractors and enable a knowledge transfer. On Power and the local contractor are very content with the results, and we look forward to completing the project next year.”
Hamish Moir, MD at cbec eco-engineering UK Ltd, was really impressed with the works and commented:
"cbec eco-engineering UK Ltd were very excited to have been involved in the successful delivery of the first large wood bank protection measures in Iceland, providing design and on-site construction supervision roles for the groundworks that were undertaken by McGowan Environmental Engineering and a local contractor. The enthusiastic and collaborative efforts of the team and the client, ON Power, meant that the work progressed very smoothly, with all challenges encountered being resolved efficiently and without incurring delays. The design represents a more effective, sustainable and environmentally sensitive alternative to more 'traditional' bank protection using large rock and is designed to work with river processes in a more 'nature-based' approach. With significant media interest in the project, we hope that this type of measure begins to be applied more widely across Iceland, in keeping with the outstanding natural beauty of the landscape there."
McGowan Environmental Engineering were delighted to be involved in this project and we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone involved the very best for the future. Thanks to McGowan's own Sam Hesling for capturing the following images and impressive aerial photography.
Associated Media Coverage:
- RÚV Article - Sustainable bank protection by Andakílsá (select translate option)
- RÚV Video - Landinn (view from 09:20 to 14:03)
Please note that McGowan Environmental Engineering will be attending the River Restoration Centre (RRC) Annual Conference 2021 which is being held in Harrogate on 21-22 October.