Interserve supports some unique places and environments. One of
these is Corsham - the cutting edge global communications hub for
the Ministry of Defence. As well as supporting the state of the art
facilities for the armed forces, beneath the surface Interserve is also
responsible for maintaining 240 acres of tunnels, bunkers and quarry,
some dating back to the mid-19th century.
One of the biggest challenges undertaken by Interserve was the
removal of the substantial volumes of deadly brown and blue
asbestos contained within the mines. Over a period of three years,
approximately 400 tonnes of asbestos has been removed and disposed
of safely. Despite this there is still asbestos contained within around
1,560 places underground, which is being managed through the MoD
Corsham Underground Asbestos Management Plan.
Conditions underground created a unique safety challenge with
potential threats including roof collapse and exposure to dangerous
hazardous materials including asbestos and radon gas.
All were monitored, managed and audited continuously to ensure
the underground network was safe for the team carrying out the
As if those challenges were not enough the tunnels were also home
to a colony of protected bats. The bats’ birthing season meant huge
restrictions were placed on any work undertaken underground.
Interserve’s expert environmental team ensured that all work was
carried out at the right time, dealt with sensitively and in accordance
with Natural England’s requirements.