Vegetation-based techniques: Bank protection without impacting the ecosystem

Bank protection without impacting the ecosystem.

Vegetation-based techniques use plants or parts of plants to protect banks against erosion, usually achieved through civil-engineering techniques, which is often disastrous for the aquatic habitat and ecosystem. It complies with the technical requirements imposed by waterway vessel operations, whilst maintaining or even improving the ecological and landscaping functions of waterway bank areas.

This type of installation makes use of the ability of the plants used to multiply and anchor the ground by the development of their root system. Vegetation-based techniques allow the rich ecosystem typical of waterways to be recreated, ensuring the natural functions of a bank.

The VNF North-East inter-regional department is deeply committed to sustainable development and, since 1994 for navigable rivers and since 1999 for canals, has developed highly effective vegetation-based techniques for bank protection, and with no impact on the fragile ecosystem and biotopes of inland waterways. The North-East Dept. has, for example, developed for Reach 41 (navigable section between two locks) of the Canal des Vosges, some ten vegetation-based techniques (vegetalised boxes, helophyte* strips…).

A few examples of basic techniques to be tailored as a function of the specific case:
Willow braiding, willow cuttings, shoot-producing branch layer, plant and sett beds, seeding, ligneous plantation, two-walled roundwood boxes, helophyte strips...

tressage de saule Enrochements avec boudin végétal


For further information:

The North-East Dept. ISO 14001 certified
EMS: Environmental Management System by the North-East Dept.


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