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Bringing Oysters Back to the River Hamble

Jenkins Marine, are thrilled to have been involved in the Solent Seascape Project. This multi-million pound, five-year partnership, funded by the Endangered Landscapes Project, aims to restore a wealth of diverse marine species and habitats back to the Solent, in this instance Oysters to the River Hamble.

Utility vessel Doreen Dorward and hopper Needles at Hamble River reef creation

After careful planning and discussion, and working closely with the River Hamble Harbour Authority and ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation, the Jenkins Marine team laid a thin veneer of shingle mixed with cockleshells, known as ‘cultch,’ covering 2,500 metres square onto the riverbed.

Jenkins Marine 300m³ capacity, self‑propelled and highly manoeuvrable hopper barge Needles was on hand for transportation of the shingle mix to site, while their self‑propelled spud‑leg, utility vessel Doreen Dorward, with its large open deck, well & moon pool, provided a platform for the excavator to precisely deploy the “cultch” at an even thickness of 150mm. Their Prolec precision digital dredging system (shown right) proved invaluable during this delicate operation.

Louise MacCallum, Solent Project Manager for Blue Marine said: “Jenkins Marine have been the most crucial partner in successfully delivering the Hamble reef. I would like you to pass on my personal thanks… I would also like to personally thank you for all the ideas, solutions, thought and attention you put into this project. It has been a genuine pleasure working with you and the whole Jenkins Marine team.”

Hamble River reef creation Louise MacCallum

Oysters sourced from south Wales are being transferred to the site to seed the area at the Swanwick bend in the River. This has been a successful project which Jenkins Marine are proud to have been a part of and they look forward to working on further projects with Blue Marine in the future.

In 2021 the Solent Seascape Project team restored a 1,000 square metre oyster reef in Langstone Harbour. To date, this existing reef and the new reef in the River Hamble are the only restored reefs in the Solent region.

You can find out more about the Hamble Oyster Reef Project from the following sources:

Blue Marine Foundation:


Endangered Landscapes Programme: solent-seascape/

If you have a requirement for specialist marine operations in shallow or near shore projects, please feel free to get in touch with Jenkins marine to see where they can help.

+44 (0)1202 668558


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