Knoop Baggerwerken BV wins huge wetland restoration contract

Knoop Baggerwerken BV is working in the area of “Nieuwkoopse Plassen” commissioned by “Vereniging Natuurmonumenten” in the period from 2015 till 2017. The contract is over $1m and part of the LIFE-Project “New LIFE for Dutch fens” a collaboration between “Vereniging Natuurmonumenten” en “Staatsbosbeheer”. This project will improve the quality of fens in the Netherlands. An UAV-GC contract (Uniform Administrative Conditions for Integrated Contracts) has been drawn up for this project and Knoop Baggerwerken BV is responsible to take care of the entire contract management.

Nature reserve “Nieuwkoopse Plassen” is a valuable cultural landscape that arose during the peat extraction. The peat extraction in the area was stopped late 19th century, causes the landscape to slowly change. Peat holes and ditches were overgrown and the distinctive plant and animal species that depend on the various stages of development in the peat-bogs gradually disappeared. Certain recovery measures are necessary to preserve the beautiful landscape and its specific area depended species (flora and fauna). By digging old and overgrown peat holes and cutting reedland (removal of topsoil) nature is put back in succession, whereby species which are inextricably linked with the areas are retained and protected.

In the area overgrown peat holes will be dug open and the topsoil of reed land will be removed in the coming months. The work is carried out with amphibious excavators. The material (peat, reed, cuttings) which is released during the excavation, will be pumped with a soil compressor (shredder pontoon) to a disposal site. The pressure pipeline, which is necessary to pomp the material, is located along the waterline. Because of these measures recreationists will not experience any disturbance by the work carried out.

The 100.000 m2 depot is located in the “Meijegraslanden”. First a surrounding levee will be constructed and the released material pumped behind the surrounding levee. When the work is completed the material can settle in the disposal sites. After about 1.5 years the “Meijegraslanden” can be raised by about 30 cm, making flowery meadows to arise. Whereby the ditches pattern in the grassland will be restored.