Winter Trials of Sand Recycling on Poole's Beaches
During November 2013 a one-off coast protection trial was prepared at Poole to assess
the volume of wind blown sand and the possibility of recycling sand on Poole's beaches.
Unfortunately the severe storms of December 2013 and January 2014 effectively put
paid to the trial, removing significant quantities of sand from the system and bringing
beach levels down to that of the metre deep trial hole dug out east of Flaghead Chine
beach. The beach will be monitored and another trial may be arranged for a future
A metre deep hole was dug in the sand east of Flaghead Chine beach, and it was anticipated
that the naturally occurring build-up of ‘aeolian’ or wind-blown sand in this area
would refill the hole over the winter months. Meanwhile, the sand taken from Flaghead
Chine was recycled back on the beach at Shore Road.
The movement of sand, using dumper trucks, took place w/c 4th November.
Why is this work needed?
In Poole sand moves from west to east along the seafront. The aerial photo below
shows, in red, where erosion is taking place between Shore Road and Flaghead Chine
beach. If it is not addressed the erosion at Shore Road will continue to narrow the
beach and erosion will eventually creep eastwards along the seafront.
What will the trial tell us?
This is a 'learn-by-doing' coast protection trial which will enable us to investigate
whether the effects of erosion can be balanced by the movement of sand. It is hoped
that the recycled sand deposited at Shore Road beach will, in time, return to Flaghead
A final survey will assess:
how much sand has migrated back to Flaghead Chine
how much has been retained by Shore Road beach
whether it is economically viable to use nature to help provide a long-term and sustainable
approach to managing our wide, sandy beaches.
The results of the trial will inform the Beach Management Plan (to be completed by
2016) which will set out how the Council will manage the beach for coast protection
Erosion (shown in red) between Shore Road & Flaghead Chine beach; if not addressed
erosion will continue to narrow the beach at Shore Road
The area of Flaghead Chine where wind-blown sand builds up. This site is where we
dug the hole; it was hoped the hole would re-fill over the winter months
Note: in the image above, the darker the red the greater the erosion. Blue represents
areas of accretion (the accumulation of sand) recorded between 2007 and the present
day; the darker the blue the greater the levels of accretion.