South West Wales

Dunes to defend Swansea coast from wind-blown sand

sand dunes being created at Swansea beach Image copyright Swansea council
Image caption Sand-trapping fencing is being installed along Swansea Bay

A pilot project has begun to prevent sand from Swansea Bay blowing onto nearby roads.

High winds at the start of the year caused major problems for promenade users and motorists on Oystermouth Road.

Swansea council is working closely with Natural Resources Wales to install sand fences which will trap sand and help create dunes further down the beach.

Marram and lyme grass will then planted to stabilise the dunes.

The sand levels on Swansea Bay have risen by up to 5ft (1.5m) over the last 10 years and Swansea council spends more than £20,000 a year clearing sand which has blown off the beach.

Image copyright Natural Resources Wales
Image caption Wind-blown sand on Swansea promenade

David Hopkins, Swansea council's cabinet member for environment and transportation, said: "Our staff work very hard to sweep up these deposits and return as much sand as possible to the beach, but specialists tell us this pilot scheme could help cut down on the problem in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way."

If the scheme works, the money saved on sand clearance will be invested in other improvement projects like road and pavement upgrades.

Jerry Griffiths, senior natural resources planning officer for Natural Resources Wales, added: "As well as reducing maintenance costs, the dunes will create a habitat for plants and wildlife, increasing the biodiversity of the area and creating a more natural beach."

Image copyright Natural Resources Wales
Image caption Swansea council spends £20,000 a year clearing sand deposits

Meanwhile further up the coast, work has begun to repair the promenade at Caswell Bay after heavy rain and high tides over the winter months caused damage.

The area has been fenced off and work is set for completion by mid-July.

Image copyright Swansea council
Image caption Caswell Bay is one of several Blue Flag award-winning beaches on Gower

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