Maesteg Washery

The Maesteg Washery is a heavily polluted site as a result of coal mining activities. The aim was to create an ecologically dynamic landscape to allow for restoration whilst implementing a striking landscape design. A network of ponds was created to act as a functional ‘washer’ for the site, allowing rainwater to be absorbed and used as a cleanser through a process of biological and physical filtration.

Today the wetland covers part of a triangular site of approximately 1 hectare. It incorporates a series of 11 connected ponds. allowing the system to manage large amounts of water whilst also providing marginal habitats for amphibians and invertebrates. A protective ring of locally sourced Blue Pennant sandstone was created, referencing the skyline of nearby Port Talbot and the raw slab iron processed in the nearby steel mills.

A total of some 2500 native plants were introduced. Over the years the ecology on the  has altered dramatically and is now an incredibly diverse and dynamic ecosystem. On the last visit six species of damsel and dragon fly were logged on site as well as newts and frogs.


Site after groundworks were completed

The tree grid 300 oak posts with 300 birch trees

Ag slag lime being folded into to neutralise the acidified soil. 150 tons were added to the site

40 blue pennant sandstone monoliths were arranged on the site to frame the pond referencing the steel mills of Port Talbot

Pit props into arch trees

Site after 4 years