Erosion control is the practice which aims to control or prevent erosion from water or wind in, for example, agriculture, riverbanks, land development and coastal areas.

Image Credit

Erosion control blankets are a useful aid for agriculture and are used for slowing down the speed at which water moves across the surface of an area of land in order to stabilize the land.

According to recent reports, soil erosion has a significant environmental impact, fuelling climate change and compromising efforts to feed an increasing population.

We take a look at exactly how an erosion control blanket works and where and when it would be used.

What Are Erosion Control Blankets?

Erosion control blankets are open-weave blankets which are used to provide cover for bare soil and to stabilize the land. The blankets also offer support for establishing vegetation in these areas by slowing the flow of water across the soil.

Erosion control blankets can be made of either synthetic materials such as woven polypropylene or, commonly, from biodegradable fibres such as straw, coconut or wood excelsior. The benefit of the biodegradable erosion control blankets is that the blanket can provide the support for emergent vegetation and allow for optimal soil conditions, and then once the purpose of the blanket has been served, it can break down naturally and add to the soil, benefiting further vegetation growth.

Image Credit

Erosion control blankets are effective options in a range of areas, including shore areas, ditches, slopes and swales.

Protection

Erosion control blankets can also have applications in areas with contaminants and pollutants. An erosion control blanket can be an effective option for protecting the land from pollutants from adjoining sites. The blanket can efficiently shield the area from polluted waters coming in from eroded soil from other areas.

In sites with severely contaminated land, it may be necessary to carry out soil remediation. Soil remediation services can be carried out by companies such as soilfix.co.uk/services/soil-groundwater-remediation.

Wattles are similar agricultural aids to erosion control blankets, in that they are also used to control erosion, minimise run-offs and maintain soil conditions below.

Wattles are more frequently used on slopes, as they are able to catch water as it moves down the slope. Often made from straw, wattles degrade over time, which adds more moisture into the soil below.