Soil erosion occurs due to various reasons including heavy rainfall, strong winds and climate changes. Erosion also occurs due to industrialisation, construction as well as land reclamation. Soil loss and water runoff affect surfaces including steep slopes, embankments and water channels. It can result in a decrease in vegetation cover over time.
An erosion control blanket forms a protective covering on the soil and prevents soil shifting.
What is an Erosion Control Blanket?
An erosion control blanket is a protective blanket made of plastic fibres, straw and plant residue. Temporary and permanent erosion control blankets made from natural and synthetic materials protect the landscape and prevent soil erosion.
The erosion control blankets are preformed carpets that can be rolled out on the landscape. That is why they are also known as Rolled Erosion Control Products (RECPs).
Types of Erosion Control Blankets
There are different types of erosion control blankets designed to suit the requirements of the landscape.
- Photodegradable: Made from materials such as plastic, the photodegradable erosion control blankets contain UV stabilisers that stop functioning after some time. The blankets then start degrading when exposed to sunlight.
- Biodegradable: Made from natural fibres, the biodegradable erosion control blankets serve their purpose for a short amount of time and then break down into the natural environment.
- Permanent: Made from nets, filaments, wire mesh and synthetic fibres, the permanent erosion control blankets are either Turf Reinforcement Mats (TRMs) or High-Performance Turf Reinforcement Mats (HPTRMs). They are used mainly for water control in channels, ditches, sides of steep slopes, shorelines and also in areas of heavy rainfall and strong winds.
- Pre-seeded Mats: They serve the purpose of erosion control whilst offering a variety of fibre and seed combinations for vegetative growth.
- Un-Seeded Mats: These are available in a range of natural and synthetic materials and boast longer lifespans for surface stabilisation as well as effective anti-vermin protection.
Benefits of Erosion Control Blankets
Erosion control blankets are biodegradable. They blend with the environment and cause no harm to the living world. The materials and weaves of the blankets are designed to allow the soil to breathe and new seeds to grow.
Slopes, embankments and land surfaces gain from the protective cover. Moreover, rain impact is minimal. The blankets also reduce evaporation and protect the topsoil from direct sunlight. Erosion control blankets are just the solution needed to tackle soil erosion and degradation.