The strength of the top layer of a dike depends on a combination of the soil particles, such as sand and clay, and the plants which grow on top of the dike and root in the dike. Part of the research takes place in a field on the dikes themselves. But dikes and their surroundings are variable. Weather, climate, maintenance and incidents make it difficult to do longitudinal experiments in which conditions remain stable or are intentionally manipulated. Hence a new research facility has been constructed at the Radboud University campus to make experiments with grass revetment possible.
Four experimental dikes have been built near the greenhouses on campus. A river dike has been recreated on scale, using the same clay soil as is used in strengthening the Wale dikes. The soil conditions and slopes are identical as well. This autumn, numerous species of plants will be sown on these experimental dikes in different combinations. This will hopefully show which mixture of seeds results in the fastest and best rooting. On 5 October, the experimental dikes were opened during a meeting with users and partners of the research programme, which is financed by the Hoogwaterbeschermingsprogramma (lit: High Water Protection Programme).