Prestatyn sand dunes repaired after December's storms


Staff reporter (Rhyl Journal)

PRESTATYN sand dunes damaged in December's storms have been repaired.

Denbighshire Council has carried out the work after a 200 metre section of the All Wales Coastal Path, at Barkby Beach, was completely washed away down to the underlying rock armour.

The dune width was reduced by about 10 metres and the chestnut paling fencing and boardwalk was either damaged beyond repair or washed away.

Repairs to the rock armour will require a more long term engineering solution.

Cllr Huw Jones, lead member for Leisure and Countryside Services, said: "It is very important this work is carried out before the busy holiday season because if the dunes were left unprotected further erosion would inevitably follow.

"This is especially important at this location because the dunes are confined to a single narrow ridge and are hence particularly vulnerable to visitor pressure and winter storms.

"In an ideal world the sand dunes would be left to natural processes but we cannot afford to do that here and hence the need for all of the recent repairs and which has been made possible via funding from Natural Resources Wales.

"Further east the sand dune system is much wider and we now have the luxury of leaving the dunes to natural processes.’’

Following the storm the habitat of the last colony of Britain’s rarest sea birds, the Little Tern, at Gronant Dunes Special Protection Area, has become more secure.

Garry Davies, Denbighshire Council countryside officer said: ‘’Part of the area consists of a shingle ridge which provides a nesting habitat for the Little Tern.

"Every May they arrive from the West Coast of Africa and make very crude nests within the shingle and as close to the foreshore as is possible.

"If high tides are backed by an onshore wind then many of the nesting sites get washed away. However following the storm surge it would appear the shingle has been pushed at a steeper angle higher up the beach and hopefully the nests will be less susceptible to the higher tides."

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