Season's Greetings

To all customers, suppliers and friends thank you for your business and support over the last year. Working with the best in our industry it is your continued achievement that sustains us, so please accept our heartfelt thanks and best wishes at the end of another challenging year.

To continue to deserve your valued custom we will be simplifying our communications and processes next year to make it even easier to deal with us. A fair, flexible and friendly approach to every customer is how we plan to maintain and win your loyalty, so please be prepared to tell us how we're doing. Your input is vital if we are to succeed as the preferred supplier in our sector.

From everyone at Van Walt, to you and your families, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a healthy, happy and successful New Year.


Vincent Van Walt

Vincent van Walt

Gloves Information beach

One size fits all

Is not something you hear from us very often, particularly when it comes to our rental proposition: variety of equipment, size of fleet and the flexibility of our rental periods. Throughout 2011 we have added equipment, improved our paperwork and retrained our staff to ensure you get a seamless service. Every item should reach you in 'out of the box' condition, just read the Quick Start Guide if you are not familiar with its operation otherwise it is usually turn-on and start monitoring, remediating or sampling.

In case you have a question we are always available to give advice by phone, online or in person, when needed. Increasingly our van can be found at sites throughout the UK - very often it's just part of the service.


Useful Information

We recently sent out emails highlighting two pieces of useful information which you can now find on:

Cold Weather Advice: When it's cold and wet outside - spare a thought for your environmental equipment if you want to maintain accurate results. Most equipment has minimum operating temperatures below which the quality of your results will be compromised and you risk damaging the equipment. Even field equipment isn't impervious to extreme conditions:

  • pH probes can freeze and break
  • Environmental pumps can freeze up and you may not even know about it because they may still work once thawed out, but they will not work as well
  • Water sampling equipment; if not completely purged and dried, can freeze, split and break
  • PID lamps fog-up when moved from warm to cold environments.

The information sheet contains a few tips to help you ensure accurate results - whatever the weather.


Ever wondered how many grains of sand there are on a beach?

Bored of the beach, trashy novel not that sensational holiday read you were hoping for, so you've taken to counting grains of sand ... well now scientists in Cornwall are doing just that as part of a project to calculate the rate of coastal erosion.

Researchers from Plymouth University are going to take five years to study data from instruments mounted on 40 metres of scaffolding at Perranporth which is transferred to laptops housed in a mobile field laboratory installed at the top of the beach for analysis.

Apparently conditions on Perranporth beach are ideal for this research as the large tidal range allows the installation of the instruments with relative ease and the large waves will ensure significant sand movement at high tide when measurements will be made. By understanding how breaking waves move the sand scientists will be able to more accurately monitor coastal erosion.


Rory India Courier

Van Walt sponsors PhD student - Rory Flood

Following another very successful trip to the Sunderbans, (see our Blog) India sediment sampling with Queen's University, Belfast we are delighted to introduce Rory Flood. Rory is a PhD student from the School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology, working on research primarily focused on the provenance and levels of sedimentation in the Sunderbans.

For those of us not in the know the Sunderbans is one of the largest units of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world and the primary habitat of many endangered charismatic mega-fauna species, including the Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). Furthermore, approximately four million people inhabit the Sunderbans and thus there presents a challenge on the sustainability of island communities in this region.
The main aims of this research are:

  • What are the sediment pathways in the region and from where is sediment originating from?
  • What are the sedimentation rates and levels of deposition and erosion taking place in the Sunderbans?
  • How do sedimentation rates differ over the course of the late Holocene between uninhabited and inhabited islands within the Sunderbans?


An update from our India correspondent

Fieldwork for me at one time meant hiring the cheapest, smallest car possible and driving down to a rain drenched field in Co. Limerick to camp for a couple of nights before coring and surveying sites with a dumpy level. It was a twelve hour slog of lugging around two leather bags of corers aptly named “Rocky” and “Ivan”, the TCD Geography department’s hand gouge and Russian peat corers. However, fieldwork, like the Irish weather seems to have changed rather abruptly and rather drastically.

Fieldwork now consists of three flights, hours of car journeys to cloistered ports and steaming across the estuarine-deltaic islands of the Sunderbans of West Bengal, India. Since October 2010 I have been working on my PhD project at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) regarding the late-Holocene and contemporary sedimentary provenance and processes of sedimentation in the Sunderbans. The approach followed has been one based strongly on sedimentary facies analysis, thus coring several sites in the Sunderbans is one of the primary methodologies employed in this project.


Courier Liability for loss or damage

We would like to bring to your attention that unless you specify that you want to take out enhanced liability for goods in transit then if a parcel is lost or damaged the couriers will only re-reimburse you for a limited amount, usually in the region of £15 per kilo in weight. As you will know this only represents a nominal amount, far below the value of your environmental equipment.

Unless you are separately insured for goods in transit we strongly recommend you opt for extended liability with your couriers.


Rental Charges

For all rental customers, over the Christmas and holiday period we will be charging rental equipment as follows:

  • Up to and including 23rd December 2011
  • From the 28th, 29th & 30th December 2011
  • From Tuesday 3rd January 2012.

Any customer with rentals outstanding will receive an interim invoice at the end of December 2011.

VW Flexible Training

We've changed the training we now offer you. Your time is precious and spending time away from site or the office is expensive that's why we are now offering a more flexible approach to access our environmental expertise.

  Bespoke training

Bespoke training

We are very happy to put together bespoke training packages, at your premises subject to suitable conditions and the number of potential delegates makes it a cost effective alternative for you.

These courses are based around your training needs but will always incorporate the latest standards, techniques and equipment. Bespoke courses are priced according to content, number of delegates and location.

  Onsite Training

Onsite Training

Much of the training we do onsite involves the equipment we have provided. Very often this training is part of the service we offer for some of our more specialist environmental research equipment and is included in the price of the equipment but can also be arranged for anyone interested in understanding techniques, procedures and maintenance routines more thoroughly.

  Equipment workshops

Equipment workshops

For us it is important the equipment you buy from us exceeds your expectations and operates efficiently and effectively. Sometimes that might mean some additional training is required to ensure you get the best, most accurate results from your purchase. We are happy to arrange equipment specific training at our premises or onsite with the main operatives. We have recently undertaken this type of training via Skype so no commuting time and available wherever you are in the world!

VW It doesn't rain but it pours

Onsite, working with customers to solve an issue, in the rain, is not everyone's cup of tea but as Tom Stone, Technical Sales explains: "It's all part of the service". Our goal is to ensure our equipment is working according to specifications and you are confident in its operation.

To our customers - thank you for your patience. We consistently aim to meet your expectations.

To our suppliers - our customers are the reason we exist that’s why we will do all we can to help even when it isn’t your equipment at fault.

The more we know about a project the easier it is for us to sell you the right equipment. Over the years we’ve found that selling you something that isn’t suitable is a short-term gain and let’s face it, we’re in it for the long term - we will be celebrating 30 years in business in 2012.

The lesson here is - talk to us. If you can’t find what you need on our website - talk to us. If you want more information about new sampling techniques - talk to us. If your delivery is late - talk to us. And to help, we have all been given direct lines, so now it’s even easier to talk to your favourite Van Walt colleague!

Vincent Yvonne Ikky Amanda Tom
01428 664850
01428 664851
01428 664852
01428 664853
01428 664854
Lewis Tracey Darshana Gary Diver
01428 664855
01428 664856
01428 664858
01428 664859
John Bolton
07767 412485