Missing Poldhu Beach sand a boon for surfers

Falmouth Packet: Missing Poldhu Beach sand a boon for surfers Missing Poldhu Beach sand a boon for surfers

Visitors to Poldhu Beach shocked to discover that much of the sand has disappeared following recent wild storms, may see some smiling surfers, as the shifting sand has been a boon for wave riders.

The sand was stripped away by the crashing waves and swirling currents, unveiling a very stony beach and lots of beach litter, however the sand has not gone to far, according to the National Trust, who say it has just moved to form a sand bank.

On the Lizard and Penrose National Trust blog, Justin says that while thanks to Friends of Poldhu, the litter has all been removed, it will take months, if not years, for the sand to re-appear.

Adding: "Fortunately, the sand hasn’t gone too far, as any local surfers will be aware, there is now a rather useful sandbar just offshore, creating a tidy right hand break."

He says that 20 years ago, it was common for local farmers to quite legally remove sand from the beach as an ancient right ‘for the betterment of the land’, which probably started with a farmhand with a shovel and horse and cart.

However by the 1990s, there were regularly fleets of trucks on the foreshore being loaded up by JCB, an unsustainable practice which was stamped out in 2007.

Whilst the beach itself has lost much of its sand, the dunes behind the beach have remained remarkably unscathed. The dunes at Poldhu are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (sssi). They ecosystem is not just rich in wildlife but they also provide an useful natural defence mechanism against the ravages of storms and high winds.

Comments (4)

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8:49am Tue 4 Feb 14

Gillian R.Z. Martin says...

Preventing sand from being extracted in 2007 was far too late, the damage had already been done, local people refuted that the sand would be replaced to the degree it was being taken, and they were right. Thirty years ago Poldhu was covered in thick sand, I think it was irresponsible to have allowed the practice to continue so long, the ancient right was for horse and cart not huge modern day appliances.
Looking on the bright side, at least the dunes do not have dead Christmas trees buried in them!
Preventing sand from being extracted in 2007 was far too late, the damage had already been done, local people refuted that the sand would be replaced to the degree it was being taken, and they were right. Thirty years ago Poldhu was covered in thick sand, I think it was irresponsible to have allowed the practice to continue so long, the ancient right was for horse and cart not huge modern day appliances. Looking on the bright side, at least the dunes do not have dead Christmas trees buried in them! Gillian R.Z. Martin
  • Score: 2

7:39am Wed 5 Feb 14

Helston fly on the wall says...

I bet if the NT had owned the car park and were getting the money from that, they would have done something about the sand being taken, before 2007 because it would have been more in their interest for people to want to use the beach. Nobody seems to want to admit they wrong to let it carry on when it did and the so called experts used to say, oh the sand will replace itself, how on earth can tons of sand taken away completely, replace itself. It was not like it was waiting out at sea.
I bet if the NT had owned the car park and were getting the money from that, they would have done something about the sand being taken, before 2007 because it would have been more in their interest for people to want to use the beach. Nobody seems to want to admit they wrong to let it carry on when it did and the so called experts used to say, oh the sand will replace itself, how on earth can tons of sand taken away completely, replace itself. It was not like it was waiting out at sea. Helston fly on the wall
  • Score: 4

11:45am Sat 8 Feb 14

KernBear says...

Its all good to blame sand extraction, but what evidence does anyone have to suggest the sand will be there now after the storms? From what I can figure out, no one really knows. If the sand was not taken away, then whats to say it would not have been removed in the past storms? Coastal Geomorphology is not easy, and I for one don't blame the experts.
Its all good to blame sand extraction, but what evidence does anyone have to suggest the sand will be there now after the storms? From what I can figure out, no one really knows. If the sand was not taken away, then whats to say it would not have been removed in the past storms? Coastal Geomorphology is not easy, and I for one don't blame the experts. KernBear
  • Score: -1

10:08am Sun 9 Feb 14

Helston fly on the wall says...

KernBear wrote:
Its all good to blame sand extraction, but what evidence does anyone have to suggest the sand will be there now after the storms? From what I can figure out, no one really knows. If the sand was not taken away, then whats to say it would not have been removed in the past storms? Coastal Geomorphology is not easy, and I for one don't blame the experts.
I would have said common sense tells me the more sand there is the more would be left after the storms and with storms the sand is washed out and has a chance of being washed back, if its taken away by the truck load it can't wash back. If it wasn't a problem they wouldn't have put a stop to it. At least one of the farms that took it was sold off and is now holiday accommodation, how ironic is that. Poldhu was really thick sand and it used to stop the sea coming across the road, after they kept taking it the sea kept coming over the road and that was before all these storms. Common sense dictates if you keep removing truck loads of sand from a beach it will end up with less sand, storms or no storms.
[quote][p][bold]KernBear[/bold] wrote: Its all good to blame sand extraction, but what evidence does anyone have to suggest the sand will be there now after the storms? From what I can figure out, no one really knows. If the sand was not taken away, then whats to say it would not have been removed in the past storms? Coastal Geomorphology is not easy, and I for one don't blame the experts.[/p][/quote]I would have said common sense tells me the more sand there is the more would be left after the storms and with storms the sand is washed out and has a chance of being washed back, if its taken away by the truck load it can't wash back. If it wasn't a problem they wouldn't have put a stop to it. At least one of the farms that took it was sold off and is now holiday accommodation, how ironic is that. Poldhu was really thick sand and it used to stop the sea coming across the road, after they kept taking it the sea kept coming over the road and that was before all these storms. Common sense dictates if you keep removing truck loads of sand from a beach it will end up with less sand, storms or no storms. Helston fly on the wall
  • Score: 3

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