This caused a breach in the flood embankment on the River Steeping, which led to hundreds of homes being evacuated. Assessment of the embankments found that some had eroded. Rather than take a hard engineering approach to stabilise the defences, the Jackson team, working on behalf of the Environment Agency, installed an environmentally sensitive solution using bioengineering and vegetation re-establishment.
Often working from the water, the team fixed rock rolls against the embankment at the toe-line and then placed lengths of coconut coir rolls over the top. These were pre-planted with native riverside plants whose root systems hold soil in place and act as a natural barrier to erosion. The vegetation also provides habitat and cover for riverside wildlife.
In some areas the erosion was so bad that the banks had to be built-up again – using larger bags of rocks to establish a new bank before backfilling with earth.