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Nearshore Beach Replenishment Trials

Storm Repairs 2014 - Shore Road Beach

Storm Repairs 2014 - Baiter Sea Wall

Sand Recycling Trials on Poole's Beaches

Whitley Lake Sea Defence Feasibility Study

Borough of Poole www.poole.gov.uk

Other sources of local coastal information

Standing Conference on Problems Associated with the Coastline Poole & Christchurch Bays Shoreline Management Plan (SMP)

Whitley Lake Sea Defence Feasibility Study 2013 - 2018

A 5-year project to ascertain whether it is possible to create areas of salt marsh and sand dunes and use them as a form of sea defence in Poole Harbour.

Project start date: 11 March 2013

The beach / foreshore at Whitley Lake has been eroding for a number of years. In places the erosion of the beach has reached the sea wall and in time will undermine the foundations.

This may be due in part to salt marsh die-back within the harbour which appears to be confirmed by aerial photographs of 1952 and 1997 (see below), however a sand spit has formed post 1985.

The Whitley Lake Sea Defence Feasibility Study undertakes to create and stabilize a saltmarsh foreshore and sandy beach in front of a hardened sea defence structure.

The aim is to identify if this type of intervention is suitable and sustainable as a “soft engineered” sea defence solution suitable for the inner Poole Harbour coastline at Whitley Lake.

Further details below

Project update: 28 August 2013

Our photos (right) show the three different trials - timber, plastic pipe and stone islands - at various states of the tide.

We believe it is a bit too early to say if the devices are working yet, although we have noticed some slightly different levels in the Harbour bed adjacent to the sites, predominently at the plastic pipes. We have also noticed that the stone trial is slowing moving into a different shape and profile.

Compare beach levels (click to enlarge)

Lowering beach levels at Whitley Lake, 2010 compared with 2003

Compare beach levels (click to enlarge)

Lowering beach levels at Whitley Lake, 2010 compared with 2003

Compare aerial photos (click to enlarge)

Three small test areas, each focusing on a different experimental technique

Project description

The project undertakes a live feasibility study to create and stabilize a saltmarsh foreshore and sandy beach in front of a hardened sea defence structure.  

The aim is to identify if this type of intervention is suitable and sustainable as a “soft engineered” sea defence solution suitable for the inner Poole Harbour coastline at Whitley Lake.

Due to the costs of building a traditional sea defence wall and the environmental sensitivity of the site a low cost very soft engineered solution needs to be considered.  

A ‘natural’ engineered solution that can grow a beach over a period of a number of years is a possible solution that requires further detailed investigation.

The feasibility study will:

The trials started in March 2013 for a period of five years.

We propose to trial various methods to regenerate salt marsh and sand dune. Methods would be selected from options made by the Borough of Poole, Poole Harbour Commissioners, academic institutions and other stakeholders. The most promising options would be trialled on site.  

The project would be designed to comprise three separate experimental zones, no larger than 20m in length by 10m in width. Each zone would focus on the use of different techniques to allow the development of a variety of practices. The performance of each zone would be monitored throughout the period of the project.

Techniques and materials considered included:

In parallel with the beach generation options above this project will also investigate how to stabilize the beach by colonizing with indigenous harbour vegetation.

New vegetation could be transplanted from other sections parts in Whitley Lake, other areas of the harbour or imported from plant suppliers who specialise in the growth of wild plants.

The aim is to keep the trials on a small scale and monitor the results regularly over the period they are in progress to see how they are performing and what effects, if any, they are producing.

Borough of Poole will work in conjunction with Natural England so there will be no adverse effects on the Poole Harbour SSI and SPA.

If the trails are unsuccessful they will be removed at the end of the five year period.

More detailed analysis of the erosion and accretion can be undertaken using information supplied by the South East Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme and the Channel Coastal Observatory (CCO) who regularly survey this area as part of their beach monitoring programme.

Click to view larger image

Timber Trial August 2013, low tide

Click to view larger image

Plastic Pipe Trial August 2013, low tide

Click to view larger image

Stone Islands Trial August 2013, low tide

Compare aerial photos (click to enlarge)

Arial views of Whitley Lake 1952 & 1997

Click for a larger view

The on-site information board, March 2013

Borough of Poole www.poole.gov.uk