Erosion Control

Silt and debris retention, Erosamat - Saddleworth, UK

Client United Utilities

Landscape Engineering Ltd

Consultant United Utilities

Erosamat Type 1 – Biodegradable Jute

Erosamat Type 2 – Biodegradable Coir Mesh




– Easily transported & conveyed to site
– Rapidly and easily installed
– Immediately effective

Project Description

The huge unrelenting wildfire that raged over Saddleworth Moor for three weeks in 2018, began on the evening of June 24th near the village of Carrbrook.

The moorland surface was left severely damaged with wildlife habitats destroyed and years’ worth of carbon released into the atmosphere from the burnt peat.

This particular area of moorland forms part of the catchment area for United Utilities’ raw water supply and there was a serious and imminent risk that forecasted heavy rainfall would wash much of the contaminated silt and debris down the hillside into Upper Swineshaw Reservoir.

The Challenge

It was essential to rapidly implement some form of scour protection to prevent particle detachment from a heavy downpour and to capture the inevitable run-off which would transport debris from the burnt surface down the moorside and into the reservoir where the contamination would put additional pressure on water processing facilities and pose a reduction in the quality of drinking water.

Rainwater impact on the silty fine grain surface could mobilise and erode very quickly forming rivulets of silt laden slurry which would flow directly into the reservoir. The solution had to be readily available, easy and quick to install, be eco-friendly and require little or no attention once vegetation has re-established. A silt trap at the base of the slope was required as a final safety measure.

The Solution

Drawing on experience working with Cranfield University to control “run-off” in the SSSI Wye Valley and the previous supply of some 74,000sqm of ABG’s Erosamat Type 1 Jute erosion control mats for the Moors for the Future project, ABG proposed this same Erosamat Type 1 as a bio-degradable Erosion Control Mat. The mat is made entirely from jute fibres to cover and protect the burnt surface from rain bombardment, and degrades in 1 -2 years to allow natural re-growth to take over. A surface layer of the slower degrading (4-5 years) Erosamat Type 2 coir erosion control mats were proposed in combination with a vertical non-woven geotextile silt fence as a final silt trap and barrier at the foot of the hill just above the reservoir.

Erosamat Type 2 Biodegradable Coir Mesh structure

Erosamat Type 1 Biodegradable Jute Mesh structure

The ABG Service

Within 24 hours ABG had visited the United Utilities offices, visited site, developed and proposed a solution, gained approval and delivered material, along with site supervision, to brief the installation team. The whole installation was completed by the contractor in less than 7 days, despite the remote location and access restrictions.

Contact ABG today to discuss your project specific requirements and discover how ABG past experience and innovative products can help on your erosion control project.

Additional information