Friday, 11 May 2012

Erosion control on the River Severn

There’s nothing I like better than a few days by the river – this time carrying out some erosion control works using willow spiling.  The site is near Maisemore, Gloucester and the erosion has been causing a section of the cycle path to fall into the river.  A few more metres and it would be the A417 that would be falling into the river. 
Sustrans contacted us to see if we could devise a low cost, low impact scheme and it seemed to me that using live willow was ideal as all along the lower reaches of the River Severn willow is the climax vegetation.  The river is full of silt; given a decent root mat from the willows, this silt will be deposited to help build up the bank.

I’ve attached a photo of the bank when the spiling has just been installed – I’ll post an update in a couple of months to let you know how the willow is growing.  The plan is to leave the fence in for 12 months until the willow has become established and the bank is bound by the roots – we should then be in a position to resurface the cycle path.

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