Coast Care project aims to protect Northumberland sand dunes from erosion

Environmental works aimed at preventing erosion on the Northumberland coast have been taking place.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 4:40 pm
Coast Care volunteers clearing invasive vegetation from the dunes in Beadnell
Coast Care volunteers clearing invasive vegetation from the dunes in Beadnell

Coast Care has been leading sessions to remove sea buckthorn from the sand dunes at Beadnell Bay.

Beck Bass, Coast Care project manager, said: “The sea buckthorn, which is believed to have been planted there decades ago has become invasive and in turn is causing the dunes to become susceptible to erosion whilst also out competing the native dune grasslands.

“When it was planted it was thought that it would stabilise the dunes but it actually does the opposite because it out competes the marram grasses there.”

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They have also been removing pirri-pirri bur, an invasive plant which came to this country in imported wool from New Zealand in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Coast Care officers, volunteers, parish councillors and members of the local community have been working on the project for the past year outside of the bird nesting season.

They have also been joined at times by corporate volunteer groups from Sainsburys (Alnwick store),Travel Chapter, XL Vets and Bait at Beadnell.

“We’ve removed a massive area over the past year,” said Becky.

Last Tuesday, cut material from the site was removed courtesy of Woody Fuels and Rock Farm. It will be used as biomass fuel to generate electricity.

Thanks are also expressed to Neil Hart Joinery, Jim Winter of Beadnell Boat launch and Salt Water Cafe, Beadnell.

Coast Care will be leading sessions next month to transplant marram grass into the bare areas to assist the dune to re-establish back to its natural form.

In the near future the area will be surveyed to discover the biodiversity on site.

Coast Care is an initiative created to train, support and resource volunteers to contribute to the management and conservation of the coastline from Berwick to Amble.

To find out more please visit www.coast-care.co.uk or email [email protected]