It’s funny how sometimes (or often) I can be a little bit slow on the uptake. This story will demonstrate that. Apologies to all of you who weren’t as slow.
Back at the beginning of March this year, Dee and I were taking a stroll along the ‘prom’ at Weymouth. In fact, we had walked all the way from the Preston end of the beach, where it is not necessary to pay the extortionate parking charges levied in Weymouth proper. It’s also good exercise for those in need of it, such as me. It was just after the winter storms which caused so much damage around our coasts, and at the Preston end of the beach there was evidence of repair work taking place.
At the harbour end of the beach, there was also a lot of effort being expended moving sand around from the low tide line to the top of the beach. I was vaguely aware that this was a common ‘low season’ activity which I had seen before, and that I had always assumed was something to do with ‘pre season’ cleaning, hence the first sentence of this post. While we were there, taking a few documentary photos of this effort, the opportunity was presented to ask a man who seemed to be supervising the work. It’s all about ‘oxygenating the sand’, he said. The sand from the low tide part of the beach is piled up above the high tide mark, to allow the air to get to it. Once re-oxygenated, it will be spread over the beach again, and the tidal activity will restore the beach.
Actually, I think that my original belief that it was to do with ‘cleaning’ wasn’t altogether wrong. Once piled up above the high tide mark, one can visibly see the golden colour returning to the previously dark muddy looking sand. I certainly don’t fully understand why this is needed at Weymouth, but suspect that it is because the beach is in a relatively sheltered part of the coast. Where the surf rolls in on more exposed beaches, I think that this oxygenation will occur naturally.
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