River Soar – Erosion control

Repair and protection of extensive bank erosion, exposing a major gas supply pipeline.

The River Soar, which flows through Aylestone Meadow in Leicester, is a popular amenity for the public and dog walkers, with public access down to the river. This prolonged footfall combined with scour caused by floodwater led to extensive bank erosion, exposing a major gas supply pipeline.

Temporary measures were installed to protect the gas main from further erosion, however, a long-term, robust solution suitable for the public open space was desperately required. Cain Bio-Engineering was engaged to design and build a long-term environmentally sustainable solution to protect the pipeline from further erosion and to improve access to the river for the public.

Sandbags were being used as a temporary measure to slow erosion and provide some temporary protection to the gas pipeline.

Before work commenced – Bank erosion caused by prolonged footfall and floodwater scour.


Before – A popular area used by dogs to access the river – now an erosion hotspot!


Before – A major gas pipeline was left exposed following winter flooding.

The solution chosen involved the construction of an erosion-resistant and natural-looking bank revetment utilising geotextile-retained ‘coirnet’ downstream of the exposed pipe. The works also incorporated an enlarged and more durable sloping gravel ramp to maintain and improve public access to the river.

During – Site clearance and removal of the sandbags being used as temporary bank protection.

During – The original outer bank line is staked out with hardwood posts.

During – retaining kickboard installation within the new public access ramp

The completed works successfully reinstated the eroded bank margin around the pipeline utilising a long-term, aesthetically pleasing solution suitable for the location within a public open space as well as providing sustainable and safe access to the river for the public.

After the work was completed – The improved public access to the River Soar is especially loved by dogs!

After – Another repaired dog access point.

New, enlarged public access ramp, which includes a kickboard buried at the toe and bank repairs to protect the gas main.