Missing Poldhu Beach sand a boon for surfers

6:00am Tuesday 4th February 2014

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.

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