Our contribution to the 2012 Olympics
Here we are, the first full week of the London Olympics and Dorney Lake, a stone's throw from our head office is playing host to the rowing.
So what's the connection between the UK's leading quality wood pellet supplier and this world class rowing facility? Our parent company, Summerleaze, whose origins are in mineral extraction, was the lead constructor of Dorney Lake during the 1990s, creating the lake and landscape you are seeing on tv. With consideration for both the environment and local communities, Summerleaze removed most of the gravel via a conveyor belt across the Thames, thus minimising lorry movements. Our enduring legacy was the creation of a footbridge under which the conveyor ran. Though gravel transfer ceased long ago, the bridge is a permanent fixture, giving local people access to the north bank of the Thames. It is still the only purpose-built footbridge that crosses the river along the 8 mile stretch from Windsor to Maidenhead.
4 million tonnes of aggregates were removed over a 10 year period. During that time one of the most complete rural landscape histories in Britain was discovered in the layers of alluvial deposits across the site: from New Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, the Roman and Saxon period and beyond. Burial mounds, Roman farmsteads, bridges, the oldest scythe in Britain, seeds and pollen, plus animal and human skeletons were just some of the many (dateable) finds.
When you next watch our rowers taking on the competition at Eton Dorney take heart from the fact that this is a British-lead and implemented project - the lake's construction is the result of positive co-operation between industry, public bodies and Eton College. This collaboration has not only created a world-class rowing venue but also provided sporting and recreational opportunities for local people.
Come on Team GB!