The beach recycling scheme in Christchurch, which was 12 months in the planning and which took eight weeks to implement, has been completed.
The scheme to replenish beaches in Christchurch affected by the succession of storms during the winter of 2013/14 has involved pumping sand and shingle from the large off-shore sandbar (known as an ebb-tide delta) which lies at the entrance to Christchurch Harbour.
However before dredging operations could commence, the council’s contractor Earlcoate Construction excavated a new navigation channel to allow uninterrupted access to Christchurch Harbour.
Approximately 3,500m3 of sand and shingle was removed during this operation and placed on the tip of Mudeford Sandbank. Christchurch Harbour Association (CHA) then repositioned the green and red navigation buoys to identify the new channel.
Dredging operations produced over 25,000m3 of sand and shingle. Around half of this was transported to Friars Cliff beach, just under a third to Gundimore beach and the remainder levelled out on Avon Beach.
The bulk of the project cost will be met from the Environment Agency/Defra Recovery and Repair Grant in Aid funding.
Steve Woolard, Engineer at Christchurch Council, said: “The scheme was brought in under budget which means a saving to the council on its contribution towards the overall cost of the project.
“Christchurch beaches have now been restored to the optimum coast protection volumes and levels, and we also have the added benefit of sandier beaches. So there has never been a better time to visit and enjoy our local beach facilities this summer.”