Borth Sea Defence Scheme – March 5th
Anna was working on Saturday so couldn’t join us for our weekly walk along the beach to check on the progress of the Borth Sea Defence Scheme. My parents were here though and hadn’t seen any of it yet so as usual we drove from Ynyslas to Borth, parked up on the road and then walked South examining the Sea Defence works.
It looks as though work is progressing well. In addition to the huge mounds of gravel and pebbles, the large rock groynes and one of the fish-tail shaped breakwaters are beginning to take shape. The rock groynes that run perpendicular to the beach are club shaped and the rounded ends of a couple of these are beginning to be constructed. The contractors have been digging out the sand, and with it quite a but of the submerged fossil forest, to create a kind of foundation for the ends of these club-shaped groynes. Looking at the plans they dig down around 4-5 feet and then put in a ‘geotextile’ membrane before infilling with rocks. The rock infill itself is fairly complex with different grade rocks for different areas of each structure. I’m not sure what the geotextile membrane is for, presumably to stop the sand from gradually washing out from underneath it all and the rocks gradually sinking into the sand.
We could also just about see the outline of one of the large fishtail breakwaters as well. This is just a low level structure at the moment, but will eventually be as tall as the rock groynes which are now beginning to dominate the shoreline. Now that things are beginning the take shape we can really see just how much this scheme is going to change the look of the beach, it really will be quite a substantial change.
As they dig out the sand for the foundations, a huge pile of sand and muddy, peaty fossil forest is being collected on top of the beach near to the station. I’m not sure what the plans for this material are, but I’m surprised that there isn’t a little more fuss being made about the destruction of the submerged forest. I realise that there is little option, but it does seem pretty destructive.
I also wonder what will happen over the summer as far as the tourists are concerned. I’d imagine many of them will head up towards our end of the beach away from the work, making Ynyslas very busy. It’s certainly going to be an interesting time for Borth & Ynyslas.
Morgan was with us on our walk and where they have been digging and driving on the beach with their machinery, parts of what were hard packed sand have become disturbed and areas of muddy-peaty, organic matter from the fossil forest has been exposed. At one point Morgan managed to stand in one of these patches, got his foot stuck and lost his shoe. It was then left to me to have to enter the mud to retrieve it.
After inspecting the Sea Defence Scheme we walked along the High Street, had lunch in the Frame Shop and then had a browse in the Pine Centre before heading back to Ynyslas where the beach felt very quiet and untouched. Morgan flew his kite for a while as he wanted to show it off to my Mum and Dad, by which time Anna was home from work so we settled down for dinner.