Willows on the foreshore of a dike.
Willows break wind waves, which are one of the factors that determine dike height. Breaking the waves makes it possible to keep dikes lower, and so to improve the view. This approach also provides a habitat for fauna in the area.
Dikes usually consist of an earth body with a grass covering and as such they have very limited ecological value. Willows grow naturally just above the shoreline where land and water meet on river banks. Restoring willow woods enriches the transitional area between the river and the dike. They also contribute to flood risk management.