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To manage the landscape design and development of the ash disposal hill at Gale Common over a 40-year period. Brenda Colvin was commissioned in 1965 by the CEGB to design a hill for the sensitive disposal of pulverised fuel ash from nearby power stations. The practice then managed the development of this unique landscape setting until 2005.
Conceived as bunded lagoons, the sides of the artificial hill were raised tier by tier with the water-pumped ash stored behind and built up in layers to an eventual 50m height. The bunds, built of colliery shale, provided a further means of disposal. The hill stands in flat country. The modelling of the face and manipulation of shelter belts combine to give the hill sculptural form and visual interest. Inspiration for the new hill was drawn from the man-made terraces, a common feature of hillside agriculture and defence, which in Britain are typified by the lynchets and hill-forts of chalk downland.