Enhancing the Field to Fork Experience

12th June 2024


Ground & Water was tasked with investigating the site of a market garden, farm shop and restaurant on the Surrey Hampshire border earmarked for further expansion and modernisation. The investigation was to assess contaminative risk factors relating to its former agricultural use and current activities.

Our Client

Our client was a landscape design and environmental consultancy.


The site comprised an existing farm shop and restaurant with external areas including parking, allotments, fields for horse grazing and children’s play areas.

The re-development was understood to comprise the expansion of the existing restaurant and farm shop with the addition of a rural enterprise center, cookery school and expansion of the allotment areas.

The site was found to be underlain by a Principal Aquifer comprising bedrock deposits of the Hythe Formation – Sandstone.


Our Challenge

Ground & Water was tasked with investigating the potential risk factors pertaining to the site with reference to its former and present day potential contaminative uses and their impact on sensitive receptors. These included former and existing agricultural use and on-site tanks. This was to include a Phase I and Phase II investigation.

The Ground & Water Approach

Phase 1

From a review of historical mapping the Desk Study identified the site to have remained as undeveloped agricultural land until 1994 where construction of the on-site agricultural structures had occurred.

The site walkover noted an above ground oil tank within the south-eastern section of the site whilst the northern section of the site was being utilised for animal grazing with small allotment areas. Centrally the site was occupied by the shop/restaurant as well as a large warehouse used for general storage.

Phase 2

 The intrusive investigation comprised trial pitting across the site to provide general coverage whilst also targeting areas of concern such as the oil tank and allotment areas. The soil samples underwent analysis at the laboratory for a range of determinands including pesticides and speciated TPH.

Based on the proposed development and its varied use the site was zoned based on proposed end use (commercial, allotments or public open space – parks) and the results of the chemical laboratory testing were compared to the most appropriate Generic Assessment Criteria (GAC) land-use scenarios for each zone.


The Outcome

Comparison between the laboratory analysis and relevant assessment criteria revealed an exceedance in one area of the site proposed to become an area of public open space. The exceedance related to PAHs with the source assumed to relate to the above ground oil tank.

Further investigation in the form of hand pits within the area of contamination was recommended to delineate its extent and to aid in the design of a remediation strategy.

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