Big Barn Refurbishment at Home Farm, Wimpole Estatepic-1

Stirling Maynard have been working collaboratively to successfully complete a major refurbishment of the ‘Big Barn’ at Home Farm.

The farm is hugely popular with visitors to the National Trust’s Wimpole Estate and is comprised of historic 18thpic-5 century buildings designed by the famed neo-classical architect, Sir John Sloane, as well as modern buildings to house cattle, rare breed sheep pigs, Shire horses and goats.

 A project to refurbish the Big Barn was conceived in 2015 to realise the National Trust’s ambition of providing updated facilities for the farm’s rare breeds of cattle.  Stirling Maynard were involved as a key member of the design team as the project progressed throughout the year and into 2016.

Our team contributed civil engineering advice to the multi-disciplinary team during the planning and costing stage of the project, and actively participated in progress meetings as the refurbishment entered the construction stage.

pic-2Stirling Maynard’s duties involved producing an assessment of the condition of existing below-ground drainage, and providing a new design that included:

•  Substructure works for the new animal enclosures

•  Specification of pumping and land irrigation equipment

•  New underground settlement tanks and holding tanks for “dirty water” runoffpic-4

•  Replacement hardstandings  surrounding the Big Barn


pic-3In addition to the refurbishment, the project included the construction of a new storage building at Cambridge Road Farm, which also forms part of the Wimpole Estate.  This update to the site’s facilities will assist with the daily tasks involved in caring for the Estate’s many animals.

pic-6With the refurbishment now complete, conditions for the cattle housed at the Big Barn have significantly improved.  The project has been part of updates to the farm’s operations and animal facilities.




 Repairs Underway at Troston Pig Slurry Lagoontroston-pic1

Stirling Maynard is currently involved in the design of an essential repair scheme for Troston Farms Ltd, after an agitator malfunction resulted in critical damage to its Suffolk-based pig slurry lagoon.

The lagoon sustained serious harm to its geomembrane lining system, and was emptied earlier in 2016 to facilitate the necessary repairs. This process revealed that the 1mm thick liner had split, with slurry present between the liner and the geotextile.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the 5000m³ lagoon was originally constructed by Anglian Water, and later repurposed as a pig slurry lagoon as part of Troston Farms Ltd’s activities.  The build up of sludge below the liner — observed during the emptying process — was evidence that improvements needed to be made to the lagoon’s original design for the farming company to continue using the facility to store slurry.troston-pic2

Troston Farms Ltd notified the Environment Agency, who provided guidance on the investigation and laboratory permeability testing required to investigate the issue. Stirling Maynard were then appointed to organise the task; designing a shallow testing regime to investigate an assumed 1m thick placed clay lining beneath the surface of the geotextile, thought to be present due to the permeable nature of the area’s natural sub-soils.

Whilst the results of the laboratory test demonstrated acceptable values of permeability in most of the shallow sampled material, not all of the samples complied with the standards set by the Environment Agency. Our team’s investigation demonstrated that the assumed placed clay lining was not present, and although a substantial quantity of clay was discovered, it had been combined with other made ground.troston-pic3

Through discussions between Troston Farms Ltd and the Environment Agency, an agreement was reached to repair the lagoon using a replacement 1.5mm thick single HDPE lining system with a puncture resistant geotextile underlay. Miles Water Engineering Ltd will be providing the products used in the repair scheme due to their early contractor involvement input.

 Stirling Maynard’s design scheme takes recommendations from the Environment Agency to incorporate a combined leak detection and gas ventilation system below the liner’s surface. The liner itself is being completely replaced to help prevent future incidents and ensure the lagoon is suitable for the storage of water and liquids for years to come.

Jim retires after 29 years of service

AFTER 29 years of service to Stirling Maynard, Jim Duffin retired as a Director in April 2019.

Jim’s many years of service were recognised at a special retirement gathering attended by friends and colleagues.

Huw West, Managing Director, handing over one of Jim’s retirement gifts.

He graduated from the City University London in 1984, and initially worked for Gleeson Civil Engineering.

Jim joined Stirling Maynard in 1990 as a Civil/Structural Engineer where he worked on a wide range of projects going on to specialise in Civil & Water Engineering, Planning, Waste Management, Sustainability/ Environmental and Project Management.

He became a Director in 2003 and later Stirling Maynard’s Managing Director in 2013.

Considerable experience
Over the years Jim (pictured above in blue shirt) has been heavily involved in the design and supervision of many civil and structural engineering projects for Pharmaceutical Companies, British Sugar plc, The Environment Agency, local authorities and many more.

He also has built up considerable experience in the design, project management, construction supervision and contract management of reservoir projects.

“With nearly 40 years’ experience in civil and structural engineering, Jim’s service to Stirling Maynard has been invaluable and the Stirling Maynard team thank him for all his efforts” said Huw West, Managing Director.


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Stirling House, Rightwell, Bretton, Peterborough, PE3 8DJ, UK

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