River Soar – infrastructure bank protection

Project Brief

The River Soar through Aylestone Meadow in Leicester is a popular amenity for the public and dog walkers, with public access stretching right down to the river. Years of prolonged footfall along the footpath combined with scour caused by a recent flooding event had 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 a public open space was desperately required.

We were engaged by the client 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.


Work / Solution


The following images provide an overview of the site before any work was undertaken.

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

Severe bank erosion adjacent to a popular footpath

Popular river access for dogs; now an erosion hotspot!

A major gas pipeline 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 down to the river.

Site clearance and removal of the temporary sand bag

The original outer bank line is staked out with hardwood posts

Retaining kick board 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.

The improved public access to the River Soar is especially loved by dogs!

Another repaired dog access point

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

Repaired bank around the gas main immediately after completion of the works