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|Ripple, immediately south of the M50 motorway bridge, is the main extraction site for the sand and gravel.
The photograph shows the loading wharf for the quarry.
From here the aggregate is taken upstream by canal barge some two miles to the processing plant at Ryall.
|A motorised hopper barge being loaded with aggregate at Ripple.|
The M 50 motorway bridge is in the background.
Four barges named 'Perch', 'Pike', 'Chub' and 'Elver' operated by TR Transport are involved.
|The smallest barges have a 350 tonne capacity and the draught of a loaded boat is considerable.|
Both these barges are identical in size but the difference in freeboard is very striking.
'Perch' is nearly full with aggregate and low in the water; 'Chubb' is empty and waiting to be loaded.
A fully laden barge is constrained by its draught and requires the deepest part of the river channel.
Skippers of pleasure craft meeting a loaded barge underway should remember this.
|The landing stage near Ryall on the east bank of the River Severn just south of Upton upon Severn.
The Ryall site contains plant to process and screen the sand and gravel which is carried from the wharf by conveyor belt through a white tunnel.
|Some of the processed aggregate is then transported back downstream by barge to the Cemex ready mix concrete site on the Sharpness canal near Gloucester.|
Ready mix concrete is a mix of cement, aggregates and water. Additives may be added to modify properties such as hardening times.
The ready mix is then available for delivery to local construction sites.
|The transport of bulk aggregates by river barge has proved an environmentally friendly operation.|
It is fuel efficient and much less disturbing than transport by lorries on country roads.
Cemex are seeking planning permission for further sand and gravel extraction alongside the River Severn.
Another loading wharf will enable the movement of the product by river barge.
Few people on land will be aware of its existence.
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