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The 700m pipe that will save Poole’s beaches this winter

CONSTRUCTION of a 700m length of pipe along the beach at Poole is almost complete, ready for a £700,000 beach replenishment project.

The impressive stretch of steel pipe stretches out along the beach from Branksome Chine, supported on mounds of sand and protected from the high tides by a wall of sand. It has been attracting a lot of interest from curious passers-by, asking about everything from sewerage to fracking.

The 600mm diameter pipes arrived from Denmark in 12m sections which have been welded together.

Once completed it will be floated out to sea, then sunk and anchored in position off the beach at Shore Road. Then a dredger will set to work, carrying out the regular maintenance dredging of the Swash channel for Poole HarbourCommissioners.

With each load the dredger will connect to the pipeline and pump the sand ashore. Working 24 hours a day for 11 days it will pump some 40,000 cubic metres of sand from the sea bed on to a 700m section of beach, raising the level on average by about a metre.

The project, which has been funded by the government, is set to restore the beach to its state before the devastating storms of last winter.

Coastal engineer Stuart Terry, said: “This is about coastal protection. If we don’t build the beach up these walls will collapse, we won’t have the beach huts and the cliffs will start eroding. That’s why we’re doing this work.

“The Channel Coastal Obser-vatory report found we lost 30,000 cubic metres of sand from the Shore Road end in the storms, which equates to 10 years’ worth of erosion.”

Unless bad weather prevents it, the pipe should be in place early this week. The sand will be pumped on to the beach and levelled by bulldozers.

It may appear darker at first, but will lighten up with exposure to air and sunlight. Sections of the beach may be closed temporarily while the works are in progress.

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