Measuring Successful Indicators in Sand Dune Accretion. St Annes Sand Dunes.
Above: Sites in Wider Geographical Context
Above: Site 2 Coastguard Site. Chestnut Post Intervention (Length A-A 546M)
Using GIS Hardware and Software, myself and the Lancashire Sand Dunes Project Officer surveyed a strip of Blackpool / St. Annes dune’s where the team had intervened to protect a damaged dune system. The intervention aims as a catalyst for Dune system growth, through sand dune accretion. The problem was that the beach sweeper van that collects litter was scraping up the strand line, embryonic dunes and any accreting sand – creating a big obstacle for natural succession to occur. The other issue is any new dune growth that is vulnerable to the traffic of people.
As an experiment, and conservation intervention, the team placed a line of chestnut permeable posts spaced 2.5m apart (see line A) in April 2012. The Dunes have accreted sand successfully (see line B) – this is where the foot of the vegetated dunes have established dunes at present. (September 2012) The white line indicates our GPS tracks where we consciously walked y the side of the posts and the foot of the established vegetated dunes. The purple squares represent where we recorded significant new vegetation growth.
We measured the growth in sand dune accretion between line A, and line B, which was on average
Site 1 = 15m – 18m Growth and
Site 2 = 12m Growth;
indicating a successful outcome in the five month time frame. People have tended to walk on the outside of the posts as a guiding edge for controlled access and circulation through design; this is a good technique for sand dune harm minimisation.
However we found the beach cleaner was going very close to the posts and the dunes were beginning to grow past the posts which if feasible a second line of posts could be put in front of the existing ones to protect the natural willingness of the dune to grow given the right protection from machine erosion.
Where feasible litter should be hand picked from the Dune system not to disturb the living system.
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