A system of preventing riverbank erosion, based on techniques first used 2,000 years ago, is being reintroduced into the UK.
Specially manufactured coir logs made of coconut fibre are planted with reeds. These are placed in lagoons and once growth is established, the logs are transplanted and secured on riverbeds for restoration projects.
Manufacturer Salix River & Wetland Services claims the technique minimises flooding and gives a more attractive result than solutions such as metal sheet piling.
It is working on projects in canals and reed-bed waste water treatment plants. The technique can also be used to create wetlands.
Managing director David Holland claimed the Romans and Celts used similar methods with brushwood and willow faggots.
He added: “Our methods improve ecological diversity while stabilising the banks. They can be installed manually at half the cost of traditional engineering works.”
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