Wendover Woods Visitor Centre

Wendover, Buckinghamshire

Value: £227,000
Site size: 1 units / 634m2
Duration: 10 weeks
Client: Kier


In the centre of Wendover Woods, in Buckinghamshire, Forestry England wanted to build a new hospitality space for their growing visitor base.

As the site sat in the centre of a woodland, ground heave was a major consideration of the design; compounded by the high plasticity of the clay ground conditions. Due to these risk factors, a piled solution was required. We were instructed by Kier to propose a scheme for the foundations.

Although the trees were not protected, the client was keen for the work to be as unobtrusive as possible as the site remained open to visitors throughout the build.

  • Designing for Heave

We opted for our voided Comdeck piled raft, using our Concrete Working Surface (CWS). Using our

voided system allowed the superstructure to be isolated from future ground movement, ensuring the longevity of the structure from future ground movement.

  • Minimising Excavation

As our system is installed using our midi rig, our 50mm CWS minimised the excavation required, which would likely have been 600mm deep for a piling mat, requiring tonnes of spoil to be removed from the site at great expense. This would also have caused significant disturbance as the site was single track access and also used by the public.

Additionally, extensive excavation would have caused severe root damage to the neighbouring trees.

  • Tidy Site

As the site was visible to the public, it was even more important for the site to be kept tidy and maintain the highest level of Health and Safety standards.

As mentioned, our Comdeck system innately creates a less intrusive site through reduced plant requirements through minimal excavation and spoil removal. In addition, an added benefit of using a CWS is our ability to maintain a cleaner working surface. This is especially beneficial for sites such as this, with sticky clay ground worsened by the wet weather.

  • Additional Design and Installation Features

As is true of all our raft designs, Comdeck is suitable for all construction types. For the steel framework of this project, we installed 84 sets of hold-down bolts to allow the superstructure to be installed directly

and securely onto our raft. We also installed the client’s foul and storm drainage system.


“Just a quick note to commend you and your teams hard work on the Wendover Woods project. From the beginning of the order process right through to design, construction and signing off the works it was a pleasure working alongside Abbey Pynford on this challenging project.

We were particularly impressed by the project file you issued us at the start of the project and the health and safety procedure implemented from RAMS to on site operations. The professionalism you showed helping to solve key challenges during the project was very impressive.”

Michael Hayes, Senior Site Manager, Keir.


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