Description of practice

Bunds are lines of stones or earth constructed along contour lines. They help control soil erosion by surface water runoff and allow water to infiltrate, leading to better crop water availability. Over time bunds often gradually form into terraces.

Examples of how to use earth bunds

Further information
(see Note below)

AMP01 01

Earth bunds

Earth bunds are constructed by piling a ridge of soil along contour lines to intercept runoff.




AMP01 02

Earth bunds with tied ridges

An earth bund is constructed by digging a shallow ditch along contour lines and piling the earth downslope to intercept runoff. Tied ridges connect the ditch to the bund.


»WOCAT technology 1601
»WOCAT technology 1652

AMP01 03

Photo: Luuk Fleskens

Stone-faced soil bunds

An earth bund with ditch and tied ridges is constructed along contour lines to intercept runoff. The bund is reinforced by a stone wall.


»WOCAT technology 980
»WOCAT technology 1389
»WOCAT technology 1397
»WOCAT technology 1589

AMP01 04

Stone lines

Rows of loose stones are laid along contour lines as a semi-permeable sheet erosion control structure, slowing down the speed of runoff, filtering it and spreading it over the field.


»WOCAT technology 1581
»WOCAT technology 1619

AMP01 05

Fanya juu terraces

Earth bunds are created by digging a trench along contour lines and piling the soil upslope to form an embankment that is often stabilized with fodder grasses or shrubs.


»WOCAT technology 1336

AMP01 06

Rock wall

A substantial construction of stones and rocks is piled along the contour line to reduce soil erosion in hilly areas.


»WOCAT technology 1700

Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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