Making the right materials choice can be essential in ensuring your work complements the local character as well as being important in terms of the quality and life-span of your mooring.

Material choices


A typical material choice is softwood timber as this is a natural and renewable product and is in keeping with the Broads. It should be pressure treated for use class 4 under British Standard BS8417 for suitable durability, especially if sawn softwood is used.

Alder for pole piling is available locally and has a natural resilience to rot in a wet environment.

Timber should be from a sustainable source and should have Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.


Plastic products are often proposed as a substitute to timber. There are many different products on the market and their appearance varies widely so you will need to consider the visual impact. The use of plastic for mooring is a relatively new technology in the Broads, so you need to ensure that the material is durable for the life time of your project. There should be no ecological impacts like the plastic decaying and impacting wildlife and water quality.

Because this technology is advancing rapidly, we strongly recommend you contact us if you are considering it.

If materials other than timber are used for piling a double waling board could be put in. The additional horizontal timber will help disguise the less natural material.


The type of surfacing behind moorings should reflect the environment where the moorings are located. For rural environments the use of grass or bark provides a more natural feature. Grass can be reinforced to provide a firmer surface to allow access by wheelchairs and pushchairs. In more urban environments or areas of high use alternative surfacing may be chosen. Please contact us for advice.

Piling load

If piling is used it needs to meet the use of the mooring, whether that is public, private or commercial. For most piled moorings in the Broads light steel or timber is adequate but in some cases the load on the piling may be significant due to vehicle access, tidal conditions or banked material. A piling contractor or engineer will be able to advise you.