Diss Mere Floating Boardwalk, Terrace and Wildlife Garden

  • Client:

    Diss Town Council

  • Project:

    Diss Mere Floating Boardwalk, Terrace and Wildlife Garden

  • Location:

    Diss Mere, Norfolk

  • Duration:

    12 weeks

  • Cost:


  • Project Co-0rdinator:

    Jake Girdler

  • Products Used:

    - Floating Boardwalk
    - Hydro-seeding
    - Floating Planters
    - Coir rolls
    - Gabions

View of Diss Mere


This project was part of a scheme in Diss town centre, Norfolk, to improve public spaces and give more priority to pedestrians. AGA were awarded this contract by the Diss Heritage Triangle, on behalf of the Heritage Lottery Fund, to create public access through an unused piece of land.

The completed project

The Project

Following our design proposals AGA were appointed Main Contractor under CDM for this phase of the project, incorporating civil engineering of the terrace, groundwork development of the wildlife garden and construction and planting of the floating boardwalk.

The terrace offers a relaxing space from which visitors and residents are presented with a panoramic view of the wildlife garden and the iconic Mere. The curved footpath leads down to the possibly unique wooden floating boardwalk constructed on pontoons, which loop out into the Mere offering the sensation of walking over the water around the Mere to the town centre.

Image showing Merged images 2 scaled

The Work

Work undertaken on this project was as follows:

  • Site layout, clearance and security fencing
  • Landscape profiling and terrace construction
  • Steel frame construction
  • Steel fixings of galvanised structure
  • Construction of timber deck and sub-frame
  • Timber stair installation
  • Wetlands and path excavation
  • Garden works & topsoil re-spread
  • Installation of electric supply
  • Construction of modular pontoon sections
  • Pontoon deck and construction
  • Floating boardwalk construction
  • Treated softwood timber handrail and top rail
  • Gabion garden retaining walls
  • Aquatic planting to wetland areas
  • Planting of aquatic vegetation to floating planters
  • Installation of controlled time lock gates.

    The site for the garden was compact and had a steep gradient. The garden has a Breedon gravel path which starts at the car park and curves around two circular lawns and down to the beginning of the floating boardwalk. A.G.A. turfed the circular lawns and planted trees and shrubs to meet the client’s needs. The steep banks were hydro seeded with a wildflower seed mixture. Hydro-seeding is a planting technique which uses a slurry of seed and mulch and is sprayed directly onto prepared ground. It is an alternative to the traditional method of broadcasting or sowing dry seed. Hydro-seeding is the most suitable method for this site to prevent erosion on the exposed banks over the winter. It is the method of choice where establishment is important.

    Topsoil was stripped away during the landscape profiling of the site, followed by excavation of the path, with the topsoil being re-distributed on site. The formal lawns on the approach to the boardwalk gate were laid with lawn grass turf.
    To construct the terrace, a galvanised steel sub-frame was installed behind a retaining wall, which included drainage to ensure no build-up of surface water through the bank. The treated softwood timber deck and fascia boards were fitted directly to timber frames attached to the steel substructure.

    Following the installation and anchorage of the modular pontoon system a pressure treated soft wood sub-frame was mounted on the pontoons using eye bolts and stainless-steel wire. This provided the secure base to support the redwood decking. Our in-house design ensures a safe, stable floating boardwalk for all pedestrians. The assembled structure operates well within its test load parameters, so safety is never compromised. Timber handrails have been fitted and four rows of stainless-steel wire have been laced through forming the safety barrier for walkers and comfortable passage for wheelchairs. The custom-made metal gates with a time lock system have been installed to restrict access to the boardwalk out of hours.