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Sand replenishment of Poole’s beaches complete

The sand pumping along Poole's Seafront, to protect residential properties and infrastructure from coastal erosion, is now complete.

The final load of recycled sand, dredged from Poole’s main shipping channel into Poole Harbour, was pumped back onto Poole’s beaches yesterday afternoon. Over the last four weeks, a total of 139,000 cubic metres of sand has now built the beaches back up to their previous levels.

During last year's winter storms, Shore Road beach in particular suffered a significant loss of sand; approximately 10 years’ worth of erosion occurred in just a couple of months. DEFRA awarded Poole £750,000 of funding to pump 40,000 cubic metres of ‘recycled’ sand onto the beach. During this operation an additional £1.2 million of government funding was then secured to extend the sand replenishment scheme towards Branksome beach.

Councillor Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Flood and Coastal Management, Borough of Poole, said: “I’d like to express my thanks to all involved - council officers, DEFRA, Poole Harbour Commissioners, dredging company Rohde Neilsen and land based operators Ovenden. They have worked really hard to finish the project on schedule, despite losing several days to bad weather. By working closely with DEFRA and Poole Harbour Commissioners we estimate to have saved around £300,000 by extending the scheme as we already had the dredger, pipeline and heavy plant in place; a fine example of partnership working.

“I’d also like to thank the public for their patience while short sections of the beach were closed to allow this project to take place. We are delighted with the results of the sand replenishment scheme. Although vital to protect Poole against coastal erosion, we now have the wide sandy beaches we know and love for all to enjoy throughout the year.”

The pipe-line that is currently on the beach by Canford Cliffs is being dismantled and stacked by Shore Road beach. On Monday 22 December the sinker-line, currently on the seabed, will be floated and moved up onto Canford Cliffs beach. Both parts of the pipe will be left on the beach over the Christmas period and demobilisation of the site will take place early in the New Year. All works are weather dependant.

Poole’s seafront is now a ‘man-made’ beach. Cliffing (or stepping) may occur on the shoreline before nature restores it providing a gentle sloping beach.

Information about the scheme and a project diary is still available on the Council’s coast protection website www.poolebay.net.