Wire gabion baskets serve a range of purposes for Kingcombe projects.
In the first instance they can serve their normal engineering purpose, providing a convenient solution to combine structural weight with scour protection at the toe of embankments. The cages are delivered flatpacked, so they can be easily manhandled on site, constructed and placed in position. Depending on the nature of the soil, they rarely require prepared footings. Fill material range from carefully hand placed gabion stone (creating a finish akin to a dry stone wall) at one end of the scale to random filled crushed concrete at the other. In an aquatic situation this stone fill quickly becomes colonised by a range of invertebrate life, crayfish etc.
However, Kingcombe have also developed the use of wire gabion baskets to encourage aquatic plants to grow in otherwise inappropriate situations. The baskets are ¾ filled with stone and then topped with coir matting, just below top water level. The marginal plants are then planted direct into the coir. The plants take all the nutrients they need from the water (thereby reducing available nutrients for algal blooms), whilst their roots force down through the coir into the stone fill, making them difficult for wildfowl to remove once established.
Kingcombe also use wire gabion baskets to house barley straw as algal inhibitors in locations where they can be topped up on a regular basis, thereby minimising the on-going maintenance costs. This is another example of Kingcombe’s staff applying their profound experience of both water engineering and environmental issues to provide our clients with a cost effective solution to a common aquatic problem.