Laying th pie to clean out the badger tunnel

Lanes Group goes extra half mile - for badgers

Published:  05 October, 2015

Lanes Group drainage engineers have carried out a pipe cleaning project with the longest jetting hose they have ever deployed - and all to help badgers cross the road.

The Lanes team based in Derby was handed the challenge of cleaning a badger tunnel under the A46 in Nottinghamshire after it became completely blocked by silt and stones.

Without the tunnel, badgers whose territories are intersected by the road, near Bingham, would have to cross the dual carriageway, endangering their lives and those of road users.

An estimated 45,000 badgers are killed on Britain's roads each year and badgers regularly cause road accidents across the county, some of them resulting in serious injuries.

To clear the badger tunnel safely and cost-effectively, the only practical method was to deploy Lanes Group's powerful jetting technology. This uses a jet of water at up to 2,000 pounds per square inch to force debris from the pipe.

The badger tunnel, which is just under one metre in diameter and more than 100 metres long, was on a remote stretch of the main road - with no safe hard standing area for Lanes drainage vehicles nearby.

Chris Norbury, Area Development Manager for Lanes Derby, said: ‘The easiest option would have been to place our jet vac tanker on the A46 and run a jetting hose to the badger tunnel directly below.

‘However, due to traffic management issues, this was not an option, so the answer was to create a jetting hose that was half a mile long, the longest run we've ever created in the East Midlands.'

This was achieved by placing a jet vac tanker next to a balancing pond - used to collect water run-off from the trunk road - which was the water source closest to the badger tunnel.

The jet vac tanker's jetting hose was then linked up in relay to the hose reels of three Terra Jets - tracked remote access jetting machines - each of which contained 200m of hose. This created a continuous hose more than 800m long.

Norbury said: ‘The plan worked, and despite some difficult conditions, including freezing temperatures, we cleared the badger tunnel in four days. In all, three tonnes of debris was removed.

‘Technically, this was a big challenge. We were close to the limit of what's possible. It was especially gratifying that we were able to use this innovative approach to support wildlife protection.'

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