Coastal protection groyne works complete ahead of schedule

Coastal management works to replace timber groynes from the Poole/ Bournemouth boundary to Middle Chine have been completed with the beach reopening to the public.

As part of the larger Poole Bay Beach Management Scheme works undertaken here will help make the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole coastline more climate resilient.

Works have seen the removal of five life-expired groynes and the installation of four more evenly spaced new ones. A high and wide beach is the coastline’s primary flood defence which is then supported by groynes to slow down the natural process of beach material moving eastwards along Poole Bay. Each new groyne is made up of approximately 29 piles, each ten metres in length being driven into the first solid layer below the sand. Approximately 225 planks of timber are then attached to these. Each groyne is between five to seven and a half metres deep and roughly 75 metres long. The top five rows of planks are generally the only visible planks. These have been constructed using new sustainably certified tropical timbers, while the bottom 12-14 rows, buried beneath the sand, use suitable recycled timbers from previously deconstructed groynes.

Councillor Mark Anderson Portfolio Holder for Environment said:
“A high and wide beach, along with the groynes present a frontline defence against coastal erosion. Without this vital work, beach material would be lost from our beaches much quicker by the natural processes which the groynes slow down. The renewal programme has seen good planning and execution throughout by BCP Council working with Suttles contractors and has enabled this scheme to be delivered successfully and ahead of time despite the additional implications of adhering to COVID-19 guidelines Despite the complexity, groyne works have been completed weeks earlier than planned and on budget. The newly installed groynes will provide a coastal protection role for up to 30 years.”

“Our beaches have been a popular destination for residents to exercise during lockdown and so we thank people for their patience during the works. The beach is now open in time for the Easter holidays and warmer weather so we can enjoy the amenity value of the coast protection works.”

At times the renewal programme has been quite eventful! During the works, contractors discovered an unexploded bomb which was made safe by the ‘bomb squad’. A lost wedding ring was also retrieved which was reunited with the owner following a successful social media campaign; which saw local residents sharing the council’s post on facebook over 1,000 times. The ring’s owner had lost it five years earlier and was delighted to be reunited with it.

The next phase of timber groyne renewals is planned to start in October 2021 from east of Middle Chine to West Cliff zig-zag. Three old groynes will be replaced with four more evenly spaced ones.

Details of coastal protection works can be found on our website at


Posted on Wednesday 17 March 2021