Managing bank instability and erosion

Health & Safety and CDM issues

Soft engineering is a developing industry that requires specialist knowledge to grow and install the large variety of green solutions. As soft engineering is not controlled by any recognised standards, the experience, quality of materials and installation methods provided by contractors can vary so ask for references and case studies and check where the products are sourced from.  As with all engineering projects, early involvement of contractors in the design can pay dividends further down the line.

There may be considerable health and safety issues relating to the installation of soft bank stabilisation measures, since an element of working within the river channel is required.  Once complete and revegetated, however, specific risks are likely to be relatively low.  As maintenance is often required for soft engineering solutions, it is important that a drawing of the design is included in a maintenance plan as often the most successful installations are not evident and inappropriate maintenance may undermine a soft solution (i.e. silt removal undermining coir rolls.)

Works may also potentially impact on fish, water voles and breeding birds.  Timing of the works should be considered to avoid sensitive periods. 

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