Work to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative geotechnical repair techniques for slopes has been commissioned by Highways England. The techniques are the planting of live willow poles, Fibre Reinforced Soil (FRS) and Electrokinetic Geosynthetics (EKG). These techniques were used in place of conventional approaches in order to reduce the overall impact of various challenges including environmental constraints (habitat and visual), access and utility constraints, and the need to reduce the scale and/or cost of traffic management and traffic delays

This report presents an assessment of the effectiveness of live willow poles as an aid to increased stability and is one of a series for this project. The use of vegetation as an aid to slope stability has been widely written about and the associated benefits are often described as follows: 

• Root reinforcement as the root structure develops, which will enhance the initial reinforcement provided by the willow poles. 
• Canopy interception of rainfall and subsequent evaporation. 
• Increased root water uptake of the water that does infiltrate into the soil and subsequent transpiration via the leaf cover. 

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