Unprotected, bare slopes are vulnerable to surface erosion by rain, run-off and wind. The risk is highest on over steepened slopes; sites with exposed highly erodible sub-soil; and where the ground has been disturbed or badly compacted.
Soil erosion results in poor growing conditions for vegetation due to the disturbances, washout of nutrients and organic matter (making the soil infertile) and loss of seeds and seedlings. As a result additional costs can be incurred for remedial works and re-seeding of the damaged areas.
The eroded sediment blocks drainage ditches, reducing their capacity to cope with storm events, causing flooding and increased maintenance.
More serious however is the environmental impact on water quality, because, once eroded from the site, sediments act as a pollutant, contaminating streams, rivers and lakes. Sediments carry high levels of nutrients that lead to excessive plant growth and result in oxygen starvation for aquatic life. While runoff from industrial sites (such as mines) may contain toxic elements.
It is therefore far better to take precautions to prevent damage occurring initially by using erosion control measures. Bio-engineers have proven that, a permanent, self propagating, vegetation cover is the answer to most erosion problems.
Therefore using natural fabrics that imitate the properties of plants, whilst encouraging regeneration, should always be a priority. Furthermore, such methods are environmentally desirable and visually pleasing, besides being cost effective and self sustaining.
Hy-Tex supply a comprehensive range of natural fibre, and synthetic, meshes and mats to cater for all site conditions and design requirements.