A record of Coastal Management projects along the coast of Poole Bay, Dorset
Poole Harbour: Whitley Lake Sea Defence Feasibility Study 2013-2018
Project update: 28 August 2013
A 5-year feasibility study which aims to identify whether the creation and stabilisation
of saltmarsh foreshore and sandy beach is a suitable and sustainable sea defence
solution for the inner harbour coastline at Whitley Lake, Poole Harbour
Between 1970-2000 more than 1.5 million cubic metres of sand was used to replenish
beaches at Bournemouth and Poole. Between 2005-2008 the coastline benefited from
another 1.8 million cubic metres of beach material.
The resulting wide beaches have been a success in terms of their function as a coast
protection structure and for the enjoyment they provide to the area's residents and
visitors. Beach control structures such as rock groynes will ensure they remain that
way for as long as possible and a long-term programme of engineering works has been
implemented by the local authorities.
Since 2005 coastal management project news and regular updates have been available
Sandbanks Coast Protection 1995 - 2003. A report from Borough of Poole (pdf, 1.2Mb)
Poole Bay & Swanage Beach Replenishment Phase I 2005/06
(opens in a new window)
Poole Bay & Swanage Beach Replenishment Phase II 2006/07
(opens in a new window)
During the 20th Century, the cliffs of Poole Bay were protected from coastal erosion
by the construction of concrete seawalls and groynes.
This allowed houses and roads to be built on the cliff tops, but it also stopped
the natural supply of sand and gravel to the shore. So the whole of Poole Bay from
Sandbanks to Hengistbury Head is an eroding coastline, and the many thousands of
cubic metres of beach material that is lost to natural coastal processes (wind &
waves) each year cannot be replaced by any other than artificial means.
Our coast protection & flood defence depends mainly on the level and width of our
beaches, which means they must be constantly maintained.
It is also necessary to repair, replace or add to existing beach control structures
such as groynes, that help keep beach material in place, in order to safeguard beachfront
and cliff-top property and infrastructure.
The cost of beach replenishment and other flood defence projects is funded by the
government through Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and
the Environment Agency, based on detailed risk management appraisals.