About Us

A potted history About Us:

Introduction

The A.G.A. Group was formed in 1993 in West Sussex.  Its principal disciplines were developed from the branching out of the environmental and aquatic consultancy “Ash Girdler Associates”.  The development and initial expansion into contracting were in the areas of aquatic landscaping and bioengineering.  In later years (post-2000) A.G.A. Group has further continued its diversification into becoming a multi-disciplined contractor.  In 2005 A.G.A. Group moved from its West Sussex base to Merton, Norfolk.   At that time, it took over Merton Hall Ponds, a sixty (60) acre plant nursery.

Since 1998 the A.G.A. Group have been a leader in projects involving aspects of civil engineering work associated with the construction and refurbishment of dams, reservoirs, canals, embankments flood and coastal protection work and much of the associated infrastructure. The Group’s acquisition of MMG Civil Engineering Systems (MMG) in 2001 further reinforced the civil engineering proficiency of the group.

The A.G.A. Group is the parent organisation under which a number of specialist divisions operate:

    • Aquatic Consultancy
    • Ecology & Land Management Consultants
    • G.A. Bioengineering and Landscaping
    • G.A. Civil Engineering Systems
    • Fishery Management
    • Natural Swim Pond Company and Lake and Pond Construction

These divisions allow for an in-depth understanding of the specific elements of the environment and provide expert knowledge in these specific fields.  A.G.A. Group has the in-house expertise to use our resources to successfully complete projects to the highest standards.

A.G.A. Group motivate the skills of its people to promote the corporate and social responsibility which is integrated into our business model; this is available in the A.G.A. Group CSR policy (Appendix)

A.G.A. Group prides itself in its chain of trusted vetted partners and suppliers, many of whom A.G.A. Group also provide an important service to within its suppliers into its own supply chains.

Where task-specific specialist equipment is required these will always be operated by a CPCS qualified and skilled workforce.  For over 25 years A.G.A. Group has had a successful record of working with partnership ventures and turnkey projects throughout the UK with no reportable H&S accidents or incidents.

A.G.A. Bioengineering

Bioengineering has become the favoured method of achieving high standards of effective erosion control, water quality and habitat improvement where a sustainable environmental approach is important.  It helps to enhance the development of its infrastructure, be it motorways, railways or airports. We undertake the rejuvenation and protection of canals, waterways and the landscape using eco-friendly products and systems wherever possible.

Sometimes technically advanced geotechnical solutions must also be incorporated into the bioengineered methodology to make certain the optimum solution achieves the design parameters. Where this is the case A.G.A. Group have the experience to provide integrated Geotechnical and A.G.A. Coir Fibre Systems to fulfil situation appropriate bioengineered solutions.

A.G.A. Group has carried out hundreds of landscape construction, restoration and enhancement programs within the UK’s parks, open spaces, canal network, rivers and SSSI’s.   A.G.A. Group achieves sensitive outcomes by using a combination of natural and living materials alongside more accepted traditional ‘hard’ methods. In many cases ‘hard’ solutions can be completely replaced by a bioengineered ‘soft’ method and where this is not possible bioengineering and landscape techniques can be used to ‘green-up’ and soften the ‘hard’ engineered option.

Consultancy Ecology & Land Management Consultants

A.G.A. Group Consultancy Ecology & Land Management Consultants work within specific disciplines covering:

    • Arboriculture
    • Ecological Clerk of Works
    • Ecological Surveys
    • Environmental Impact Assessments
    • Expert Witness
    • Fisheries Management and Aquatic Consultancy
    • Land Management Advice
    • Life Cycle Project Management
    • Phase 1 Habitat Surveys

A.G.A. Group handles legislative issues and has an understanding of how legislation can impact clients’ projects.  A.G.A. Group consultants format data to establish conditions for levels of pollution or contamination for areas under review, interpret data and report value and significance of data. We will identify and consider any potential contaminant sources that could potentially have an adverse impact on the immediate and wider environment and complete detailed report writing, suitable for interpretation by non-technical parties while communicating with clients, regulators and sub-contractors.

A.G.A. Civil Engineering Systems

The natural progression into groundwork and civil engineering on the wider scale has enabled A.G.A. Group to utilise our extensive resources to offer a cost-effective service in all aspects of ground engineering and foundation construction and geotechnical lining systems.

A.G.A. Group work will always conform to legislation, planning consents, accepted codes of Best Management Practice and comply with industry recognised standards. A.G.A. Group takes its commitment to quality and client satisfaction very seriously.

The multi-disciplined teams within the divisions of our business can be drawn together when appropriate to provide an integrated approach to specialist applications.

A.G.A. Group operates a modern well-maintained fleet of heavy and light plant including excavators, dumpers, bowsers, compaction equipment, mini excavators, backhoe loaders, transporters and tippers, enabling us to be self-sufficient in most site operations, supported by a committed, highly trained and accomplished workforce.

MMG Civil Engineering Systems

MMG was widely renowned as the supplier of ground engineering geosynthetics and was the first to introduce vegetated coir products for bioengineering projects back in 1998. Since then A.G.A. Group has been developing products and refining systems based on the original MMG systems to suit uncommon applications that are particularly aimed at protecting, maintaining and improving the environment. A.G.A. Group works closely with consultants, contractors, landscapers and their clients to provide the most appropriate solutions to a wide range of civil engineering problems.  AGA/MMG materials are of the highest quality and are produced from the finest materials using the latest technology.

Fisheries Management & Consultancy

The fisheries management division covers such aspects as water quality analysis, fish health examinations, nutritional requirements and stocking programmes. Stock assessments are carried out by trained operatives using either seine netting or electro-fishing methodologies, or often a combination of both depending on the site. The health examinations are carried out in accordance with Section 30 criteria and protocol of the Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

We plan and manage fisheries biosecurity making sure that all eventualities are considered, and nothing is left to chance, protecting fisheries against disease and invasive plant and animal species.

Merton Hall Ponds Aquatic Nursery

MHP is one of the largest specialist nurseries in the UK which has been commercially growing and supplying plants for over twenty years. The nursery grows many native species to meet clients’ needs and operates year-round so plants can be provided throughout the year.

The A.G.A. Group undertakes all types of planting projects, from introduction to removal and has a wide stock available from its nursery.  The nursery team has extensive knowledge of ecology and conditions which best suit individual species and are on hand to offer expert advice.

The A.G.A. Group can guarantee the availability of landscaping plants, shrubs and trees as both a grower and through its inter trading within many of the UK’s leading nurseries.

Natural Swim Pond Company

A.G.A.  Group has been designing, constructing and planting natural swimming ponds for clients since 2006.

A.G.A. Group natural swimming pond division is committed to providing an exceptional experience that will deliver a natural swimming pond that enhances your property and creates a welcoming health spa.

Our project team undertake pre-design consultation, planning strategy, construction, planting and commissioning.

A.G.A. Group Fabrication Workshops

A.G.A. Group workshops in Merton specialise in building structures to be used within the aquatic environs, parks, green spaces and landscaped areas, these include:

    • Fishing Platforms and Pegs
    • Disabled Access Platforms
    • Casting Platforms
    • Boardwalks
    • Raised walkways
    • Bathing decks
    • Pool dipping stands
    • Lake decks and viewing platforms
    • Pontoons and Jetty’s

A.G.A. Group’s experience and expertise within the natural environment ensures total commitment in keeping our sites and areas of work clear of contamination, and adverse environmental impact materials and waste.  All work is carried out by our experienced specialists who are all fully trained.

A.G.A. Group operates a quality system that is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 standards, and have CHAS certification.

Company Accreditations

ISO 14001, ISO 9001, ISO 45001 and CHAS

The A.G.A. Group consultants are accredited to and are members of:

    • Institute of Fisheries Management
    • Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
    • CLA Country Land and Business Association
    • The Royal Society of Biology
    • Royal Forestry Society.
    • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®)
    • The Society for the Environment
    • The National Farmers’ Union
    • The Equality Register

We are recognised by the Environment Agency (EA) and certified by the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) to perform health examinations under Section 30 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975).

We hold an NPTC competency certificate for giving advice and the safe use and application of herbicides.  Our workforce holds a range of competence certificates including:

    • Certificates of competence in the use of pesticides
    • IFM Certificates in Electric fishing
    • Certificate in aquatic plant identification
    • Construction award alliance diplomas in plant operation
    • Diplomas if the installation of Firestone Building Products
    • Master scuba diving certificates
    • Electrical installation compliance
    • SSMTS – Site supervision
    • NEBOSH – Site Health and Safety

Management

Managing Director and Principal ConsultantAsh Girdler
Finance Director & Company SecretaryFran Girdler
Construction DirectorJake Girdler
Office ManagerJill Cooper