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February 2006

Work on the final phase of the Coalbrookdale Watercourse Project is using long reach excavators for a different application – backfill around recent archaeological excavations. The heritage site at Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire is famous for its purpose made watercourses to generate power to drive bellows and work iron some 300 years ago.

WM Plant Hire has worked on several stages of the project since 2002, where lottery funding has enabled the restoration of the historic furnace pools and the return of this site to a local amenity area through the extensive landscaping and planting.

With dredging and desilting works complete, the current job is to protect the exposed furnace building by backfilling the excavation, without disturbing the archaeology. A delicate operation, the fill is placed by a low ground pressure excavator with 18m reach.

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