Tunnel Road bank now set for replanting this spring

The bank in March 2019, covered with stabilising material (peeling back at top left of section) (photo: reigate.uk)


A section of bank in Tunnel Road, Reigate, is due to be replanted this spring, five years after it collapsed in a landslip.

Since 2015 the bank has been covered with a “ground stabilising” material, through which the vegetation will be planted. It will then degrade over time.

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has in the past given dates for the work but hasn’t been able to go ahead.

The project began when the bank collapsed in early 2014 after heavy winter rain. After draining the water off, and then monitoring the site, the council used a digger to rebuild the slope in summer 2015.

New plants were scheduled for the following planting season, spring 2016, but that was put back to the autumn.

Asked about progress in January 2018, the council said it had needed to commission specialist contractors with the necessary licences and that replanting would happen in the autumn.

But the fine weather last summer presented a new problem, as Lee Wilcox, Greenspaces and Senior Fleet Manager, explained this week:

“The excessively dry conditions that were experienced in the summer of 2018 caused this area of the bank to dry out, due to the nature of the soil type.

A decision was taken to wait to allow the water content to increase, which has happened due to winter rains. Planting will therefore take place in spring 2019.

This will allow plant material to establish correctly and allow the root systems to stabilise the bank.”

A photo history of the project is below.


February 2015 – prior to rebuilding (Photo: reigate.uk)


June 2015 – during rebuilding of the bank (Photo: reigate.uk)


July 2015 – soon after restoration of the bank (Photo: reigate.uk)


July 2016, awaiting plants (Photo: reigate.uk)


Council workers were on-site in March 2017 (Photo: reigate.uk)


January 2018 (Photo: reigate.uk)



Previous stories about the work

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