Lunch and learn: Live willow, Webinar

26 February, 2016 | 13:00 - 14:00

Lunch and learn: Live willow, Webinar

About this event

The use of live willow as an engineering material for slope and river bank stabilisation is both sustainable and environmentally friendly. However willow spiling has received little technical analysis or attention in the past, therefore there is no published data on the design parameters required for the system or indeed how the system reacts under load.

Hence it has been difficult to predict the likely displacements which will occur, which has restricted its use to situations where ground movements would not be an issue. The aim of this project was to increase confidence in bioengineering techniques as an environmentally friendly option for slope stabilisation solutions.

The spiling comprises willows with live posts with willow withies are woven horizontally between the posts to retain the ground behind. This project investigated the behaviour and measured the horizontal displacements of newly installed willow spiling tested under progressively increasing loads in full scale tests.

A back-analysis was undertaken to compare the predicted and measured displacements to obtain design parameters for various loading situations.

The back-analysis revealed that during the various stages of loading the wall friction, stiffness of the spiling and the density of the soil varied. This presentation discusses the various stages of the analysis and suggests design parameters to be used.


Dr Debbie Scott, BSc(Hons), PhD, MICE, CEng

Deborah studied Civil & Structural Engineering at University College, Cardiff and later studied for a PhD in the Anisotropic Behaviour of Soft Clays.

In 1994 she joined Ove Arup & Partners in Cardiff office as a Graduate Engineer, spending some time in the London Office working on the Heathrow Tunnel Collapse Investigation Team. It was during this time that she was first introduced to OASYS FREW since she also assisted with the design of the shaft for the Heathrow Baggage Transfer System.

In 1998, she transferred to the Arup Wrexham Office to develop a geotechnical group serving both Wrexham and Isle of Man, later becoming the leader of the Infrastructure Group.

In 2008, she left Arup to become a Director and also a Geotechnical Engineer at GroundSolve Ltd.