• Georgie Sabin

Rowes Flashe Boathouse, Winkworth Arboretum

Winkworth Arboretum dates back to the early 20th century and contains an internationally significant collection of rare shrubs and trees. The iconic Victorian boathouse dates back to the late 19th century and is positioned in one of the most picturesque areas of the Arboretum.


Over the years, water ingress, ground movement and vegetation growth had begun to weaken the timber structure and foundations of the boathouse. Repairs were urgently needed to preserve this historic landmark, and Greenford were proud to be entrusted by the National Trust to carry out these works.



National Trust objectives for the project included; ensuring the future of the boathouse, preserving its spirit, creating local engagement opportunities, and ‘conservation in action’. No changes were to be made to the structure, it was to be preserved and simply be made safe for continued public use. “The works would be completed to high standards, in accordance with National Trust guidance with a philosophy of ‘minimal intervention’ with consideration for the conservation of the building, and impact on ecological and historic material.”


In order to minimise disruption to one of the Arboretum’s main attractions, Greenford worked swiftly.

The project was scheduled to be completed in 10 weeks, but we were able to finish within 5, also coming in under budget! We were pleased to be able to deliver such a successful outcome to the National Trust.

Cofferdam: A temporary dam was required to de-water the site and make it a safe place to work, we made the decision to use sand bags, to have a lower impact on the reservoir.

There was potential for downstream silt migration, so light touch silt mitigation measures were put in place. This involved fixing a fine fabric mesh to filter agitated water.


There was the potential for the structure to become unstable once works commenced and several stone retaining walls/structures presented a collapse and fall from height risk.


Greenford had to exercise extreme caution and employ temporary structural support. Work on the foundations was carried out by hand to ensure that the wildlife and local ecology were not disturbed.


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