Archives: News

Latest news from the Harrison Group

New Sinkhole in Norwich City Centre


March 17, 2018

New Sinkhole in Norwich City Centre

The long history of sinkholes appearing in Norwich is well documented, with the double-decker bus incident of 1988 making headlines around the world.
The latest one opened up on Tuesday 13th March in Rouen Road, an important thoroughfare in Norwich city centre, resulting in closure of the road.
Based in Norwich, the staff at Harrison Group Environmental have extensive knowledge of the local geology and, in addition to carrying out the ground investigation work after the bus incident, have also worked on a number of sinkhole projects since then.
Company MD, Steve Williams was approached by the regional newspaper – The Eastern Daily Press – for his view on the occurrence of sinkholes in Norwich. He commented:
“Many ground subsidence incidents in Norwich are related to the compaction of fill material associated with past development activity and, less frequently, with collapse of historic mine workings in the chalk underlying much of the city.
“In addition to this, sinkholes commonly occur in the area, linked to dissolution pipes associated with the underlying chalk. It is slightly soluble and groundwater flow can lead to widening of joints within the chalk, which can be filled with overlying soils, creating a pipe of loosened soil above.
“It is the collapse of these loose soils, often caused by concentrated water flow associated with leaking water pipes or drains, that create the surface depressions referred to as subsidence sinkholes.
“Such features are common in Norwich and, while they can be difficult to detect, suitable risk assessment and appropriate design can be used to alleviate potential problems for new development”.

Support for Boston Barrier Project


March 7, 2018

Support for Boston Barrier Project

Harrison Group Environmental was part of the specialist team carrying out major ground investigations for the Boston Barrier flood defence scheme in Lincolnshire.

The Boston Barrier is designed to better protect over 14,000 properties against tidal flooding in the area, such as the event in 2013, when the Haven (the river running through the town) overtopped its banks, damaging hundreds of homes and businesses.

Harrison, working for the BAM Nuttall and Mott MacDonald joint venture building the barrier, drilled eight rotary cored and cable percussive boreholes to depths of 30m in the dock area either side of the Haven.

It also carried out probing, tidal, gas and groundwater monitoring, pressuremeter testing (in conjunction with Cambridge Insitu), with samples tested in its in-house laboratory. Russell Geotechnical Innovations carried out advanced triaxial testing, the results of which will be used directly in the foundation design.

Site works began in October 2017 and were expected to finish at the end of February.

New Management for Cambridge Team


February 21, 2018

New Management for Cambridge Team

We are pleased to welcome Jamie Austin to the staff at Harrison Group.


He is a Chartered Geologist with over 18 years of experience running investigations and undertaking detailed analyses and complex geotechnical designs.


As Principal Geotechnical Engineer, Jamie is leading the team at our office in Cambridge, where he is responsible for client satisfaction and for developing the company’s business in the region.


Since it was commissioned in 2016, our Cambridge office has enjoyed considerable success, which we are confident will be built upon by Jamie with his wealth of experience and enthusiasm.


We wish him every success.

Harrison Moves into Colchester


January 2, 2018

Harrison Moves into Colchester

Harrison Group Environmental Limited is building on its reputation for providing quality geotechnical and geoenvironmental services for clients in Essex by opening a new office in Colchester.


The operation will be headed up by Principal Engineer Martin Cooper. He commented:


“We have been working for developers, housebuilders, contractors and consultants in Colchester and the surrounding area for many years. Having an office here will mean our experienced staff are closer to our clients, enabling us to respond quickly and efficiently to their requests. It should also help us to build our business in Essex.”


Harrison’s services include site investigation, geotechnical assessment, soil laboratory testing, contaminated land advice and environmental monitoring, permitting and health impact assessment for residential, commercial, civil engineering and industrial projects.


See Contact page for full location details.


Harrison Gains Keynetix Highly Commended Award


December 6, 2017

Harrison Gains Keynetix Highly Commended Award

The Keynetix ‘Geotechnical Data Highly Commended 2017 Management Awards’ ceremony was held at Jurys Inn, Oxford on 27th November 2017 and was attended by over 100 delegates.

Harrison Group competed against 6 other finalists in the ‘Data Collection and Reporting’ category. The Highly Commended award was based on the most innovative use of Keynetix software to show best practice, solve problems and provide additional benefits for the company and its’ clients.

In this instance, the award was specifically based on the use of the KeyAGS conversion tool, which allows conversion of data in the Project Inputting Tool into a complete relational AGS dataset. This, in turn, can be imported into HoleBASE SI, from where data output is into either Harrison Group report formats or for further analysis purposes.

Carl Grice of Keynetix presenting the award to Ed Orchin & Conrad Stewart

Harrison Raises Money During Stoptober 2017


November 13, 2017

Harrison Raises Money During Stoptober 2017

A number of staff from Harrison Group participated in Stoptober 2017.
Food luxuries were given up, and, despite a couple of forfeit days during the month, the abstaining was an overall success.


Some members of staff who took on the challenge were;


Nicky and Carl who gave up crisps, Kaeleigh gave up chocolate, Jon left cake alone for a month and Rob stopped his mid-morning and afternoon cigarette breaks. Well done to everyone for making the effort!


We are very pleased to say that a total of £300 was raised for SERV Norfolk –


SERV Norfolk is a registered charity – no.1148669 – and it transports blood, plasma, platelets, samples, vaccines, factor VIII, donor breast milk & any other urgently required medical items to hospitals.


SERV Norfolk covers the county of Norfolk and is run by dedicated volunteers who receive no financial compensation for their time or costs.


We know that the money raised by Harrison Group will be put to very good use & thanks again to everyone who took part.


Norwich Constructing Excellence Club 2017 AGM


October 20, 2017

Norwich Constructing Excellence Club 2017 AGM

We were delighted to sponsor the Norfolk Constructing Excellence Club’s AGM this year. It was great to hear from Doug Field, the new Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, and to meet the winners of the Constructing Excellence East of England Awards.  
Download the AGM presentation and view pictures from the night on the NCEC’s website:

Volunteering for Norfolk Wildlife Trust


August 21, 2017

Volunteering for Norfolk Wildlife Trust


As part of the 40th year anniversary activities carried out by the Harrison Group, a number of staff volunteered to help Norfolk Wildlife Trust.


On an August day that started out grey and showery, 12 of Harrison’s finest travelled out to Smallburgh, where, under the expert guidance of Bob Morgan, Assistant Reserves Manager for Broads South, they set out to clear a large area of fenland.


The work undertaken was part of the 2 yearly cycle operated by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, to manage and promote the diversity of plant and animal life of the fenland.


Grey skies gave way to hot sunshine, and during the day, amidst clearing, piling and burning pre-cut vegetation, a number of rare plants and endemic wildlife were observed, some unique to Norfolk.


Bob was particularly helpful and informative, pointing out some of the rare species living on Smallburgh Fen, and showing the team how important the volunteer work would be in maintaining the area, not only for the wildlife, but for visitors to enjoy in the future.


To round off a very enjoyable and physically demanding day, Bob took the volunteers on a walk around the perimeter of the area, pointing out some of the features unique to Smallburgh Fen. He also thanked them for the important contribution that they’d made to the work of the Trust.


In return, Harrison Group also thanked the Norfolk Wildlife Trust for a very rewarding time, and retired to the local pub – The Crown – for a welcome beer at the end of the day.


Harrison Supports Norfolk Wildlife Trust


May 26, 2017

Harrison Supports Norfolk Wildlife Trust

We are delighted to be supporting the great work of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust by becoming a Silver Investor in Wildlife. We are already planning a volunteers’ day later in the year, where staff will help out on one of the Trust’s projects.

This is just one of the charitable initiatives we have planned as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations. We are encouraging staff to raise money for, and give their time to, charities local our offices in Norwich, Cambridge and Enfield, north London.

To read more about Harrison’s 40 years in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, visit our history page [Link to]. To find out more visit the Norfolk Wildlife Trust [Link to:].

Harrison Gets Muddy For Charity


April 10, 2017

Harrison Gets Muddy For Charity

A number of staff at Harrison Group kicked off the firm’s 40th anniversary celebrations on 2 April by running the ‘Only the Brave’ obstacle mud race in Elveden, Suffolk to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.


On a sunny spring day and in a stunning setting across the Elveden estate, courses of 5 and 10 miles were completed in good spirits, with over £500 being raised for a very worthwhile cause.


Harrison Group is planning a number of events to celebrate its 40th year and is encouraging staff to raise money for, and give their time to, charities local to the company’s offices in Norwich, Cambridge and Enfield, north London.

Norwich team.

London team.