The Success of a Modular Approach

The Success of a Modular Approach

One of the benefits of our Floating Ecosystems is their modular design, allowing for adaptability, expansion and, if required, relocation.  We are delighted to share this case study that highlights the success of a modular flexible approach.  One of our longest ongoing projects is Brayford Pool, in Lincolnshire, where we’ve added modules not once, but twice since the initial installation in 2013. The project has been managed by the East Mercia Rivers Trust (formerly Lincolnshire Rivers Trust).

Swan Island Installed in Brayford Pool in 2013

The original Floating Island “Swan Island” was installed in 2013 to provide bird habitat for swans and included nesting platforms and ramps. Over the years, it has served as a welcoming haven for local birds, encouraging them to nest in safety rather than in more crowded, public areas.

In the early spring of 2022, Phase 2 was introduced, adding approximately 95 square meters along the pool’s edge. This expansion was a testament to the scalability of our modular designs. Gail Talton, Project Manager at the East Mercia Rivers Trust pointed out that these Floating Ecosystems also add vibrancy to the otherwise stark concrete banks surrounding the pool. Her enthusiasm was shared by her dedicated volunteer team, who invested three days of work into the installation along the riverbanks.

“By adding natural habitat back into the built environment of our city centres, including here at the Brayford Pool in Lincoln, we can provide much needed food and refuge for our already threatened wildlife, as well as adding green spaces for us all to enjoy.”

Gail Talton

Project Manager East Mercia Rivers Trust

One of the volunteers, Phil Swales, a member of the Lincoln Canoe Club, was motivated by his deep affection for the river to participate in this project. He said, “It’s all about giving back… It’s hard work, but it all pays off in the end. If we can take the time to look after our waterways and our environment, it will take the time to look after us too.”

The journey did not stop there. In the spring of 2023, Phase 3 was installed, comprising 12 custom-sized modules fitted around the natural island within the Pool. This innovative addition featured nesting platforms and access ramps for birds, and habitat enhancements for otters, making the area even more wildlife friendly. The additional ecosystem area will enhance the pool’s water quality and boost biodiversity. The submerged roots provide refuge for fish, while the vibrant flowers on the surface attract pollinators. Local students from Sir Francis Hill Primary School helped to plant up the Floating Ecosystems.

Biodiversity studies conducted over the years in Brayford Pool have consistently shown that the Floating Ecosystems serve as crucial refuges for an array of species, from otters, swans, and ducks to various fish and pollinators.

This project has been managed by the East Mercia Rivers Trust, jointly funded by the Environment Agency, Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and City of Lincoln Council. Additional thanks to the harbourmaster and the University of Lincoln for their support.