Desiccation Cracks & Snake Setbacks: An Average Day for an Asset Inspector!

RAB provide flood asset inspection services for a wide range of public and private sector clients across the UK. This invariably involves fieldwork, often in remote locations, and as such our team of experts are trained to ‘expect the unexpected’!

This was very much the case recently for Alexandra Mackaness, one of our RAB Assistant Flood Risk Management Engineers. Alex was out in the field undertaking asset inspections for an ongoing project in East Anglia when she came across a grass snake sunning itself in the middle of a footpath! They shared a brief and somewhat surprised stand-off moment together, during which the snake agreed to pose for a photograph on condition that Alex quickly moved on!

Many of the flood defence assets in the area also serve as designated and un-designated footpaths for walkers. Heavy use, coupled with warm and dry weather can result in degradation of the asset. On this occasion there were clear areas of vegetation erosion, desiccation, and cracking on the crest of some of the assets. These were measured and will be reported as defects, with recommendation for future repair which will most likely involve infill, replacement of a soil top layer and re-seeding.

RAB deliver a wide range of resilience and flood risk services for both public and private sector organisations. More information is available here on our website, or you can get in touch for an informal discussion on your specific project by email to or call our head office in Lichfield on 0330 223 6475.