River Axe – erosion stabilisation

“Working with the Cain Bio-Engineering team was a fantastic experience, and the results were amazing.  The team brought the right balance of practical and technical experience, capabilities, and equipment to deliver effectively and flexibly.   Their work on the River Axe will make a huge difference to protecting the SAC river and is already acting as showcase site.  Thank you so much.”

Julian Payne, EA Geomorphology Advisor

The team at Cain Bio-Engineering completed a project to address catchment-wide erosion and sedimentation issues on the upper Axe .

The team approached the problem by:
• Coppicing of Alder trees that were threatened by bank erosion
• Brushwood works to stabilise exposed root plates
• LWD check weirs, to attenuate flow velocity and bed scour at key locations
• Bed-raising using brushwood sediment traps
• Use brushwood dressing of undercut banks to arrest undercutting and lateral erosion.


River Axe – project to stabilise bank and protect from erosion

River Axe – bank stabilisationThe project was designed to arrest vertical incision, lateral erosion and sediment loading on the upper Axe. The incised channel and vertical banks are evident in this ‘before’ photograph.


River axe – during project to stabilise river bank.

Site-won, large woody debris was used to create check weirs along the approximately 300 metre reach. Due to the deeply incised channel, the check weirs have been constructed to a height that will continue to intercept flows during large flood events.


River Axe – naturally reclaiming the river bed.

This image shows the installation of large woody debris to an area of active bank erosion, which will help to protect the exposed vertical banks by reducing flow velocities/energy during flood events, and encourage sediment drop out to begin to naturally reclaim the bed.

The team at Cain Bio-Engineering worked on the upper sections of the River Axe to address catchment wide erosion and sedimentation issues that had serious implications for the SAC and SSSI designated reaches downstream. The consultancy, design and construction work was delivered efficiently and its effects have already begun to demonstrate positive benefits for natural flood management, erosion stabilisation, fisheries and instream biodiversity. We are delighted with the results, and I would have no hesitation in recommending Cain Bio-Engineering to other riparian owners.

Giles Aspinall – Chief Executive
The Magdalen Environmental Trust

If you would like more information about what we do, or if you have specific questions about river restoration, erosion control or wetland creation, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.