Swallet stream erosion control - Brash Bundles?!?

alastairgott

Active member
A friend of mine wants to start a local project, I hope great things will come of it. one of the main problems we can see is that the swallet has the potential to fill with mud (/sediment?) from the banks of the stream leading upto the swallet. having done some research, I've found a thing called Brash Bundles, which might be worth a try. (and as far as I can see a neater, cheaper and more eco friendly alternative for the job at hand than Gabion Baskets)

Has anyone used them before who could add some wisdom to me just "having a go"?


and

page 14 (section 7.2)


As an aside, does anyone know where I could get live willow stakes in the Derbyshire/Manchester/Sheffield area?
 

pwhole

Active member
Lathkill Dale? ;)

Bu there's the rub - I would imagine planting non-local or unadapted species like willow might get complex/controversial, depending on status - is it SSSI? I don't know if they'll get on with peat or heather, doing some guesswork.
 

alastairgott

Active member
Lathkill Dale? ;)

Bu there's the rub - I would imagine planting non-local or unadapted species like willow might get complex/controversial, depending on status - is it SSSI? I don't know if they'll get on with peat or heather, doing some guesswork.

it's in an area which is the most Northerly set of swallets in the North Derbyshire area. Willow seems to be the most accepted method of erosion control, i guess its a bit better than a dead lump of wood which is guaranteed to rot or some metal which will become rusty.

so in terms of environmental impact I think the posts of willow would get the thumbs up all day.

I think we're only talking 6-10 meters worth of erosion control anyway, i'll do a bit more research though. as there must be tons of councils who have had to think about similar concerns, and thankfully bureaucracy means they have to publish lots of free info.
 

underground

Member
I seem to recall a similar technique being used as flood mitigation above possibly Hebden Bridge, with brash forming a sort of dam to slow the runoff from the hills above.
The tiny bit of willow planting I did years ago was a winter job as you need the willow to be dormant and take root while there are no leaves that’ll ultimately suck all the water out of a cut whip.
It may be worth considering (if you want something immediate) some dead hedges, where the rods and brash are not going to grow year on year, something like birch would be an option I think. You can always go on to replace the rods with living willow later and if necessary strip out the old brash or weave some living material into them.
I’d consider having a chat with Derbyshire wildlife trust locally maybe… there may be some sense self seeded birch patches in need of thinning…

Here’s where I bought my cuttings from:

 

Hunter

Member
Another thing to consider is ongoing maintenance if you go for willow.
i know it’s stating the bleedin’ obvious, but being trees, they have a tendency to get quite big if left to their own devices which people tend to overlook.
If it’s a narrow water course they will soon overshadow it if not kept trimmed or coppiced which environmentally may be good or bad depending on local circumstances.
Another issue could arise over time with bigger trees getting wind blown and taking the bank with them if they fall.
I have used willow spiling in the past, effectively weaving a hurdle against the bank which takes root surprisingly quickly but then becomes a willow thicket if not managed.
It does provide a raw material though if you have a side interest in basket making.
 

alastairgott

Active member
Nah I don’t think it’s stating the obvious. leylandii are considered cute quick growing plants, and are actually huge towering beasts.

anything that grows Is a pest if you just expected it to sit and be the same for eternity.
 
Top