Should the dunes be ‘nourished’?

16:38 04 March 2014

The recent storms have had a marked affect on the seafront sand dunes. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 2504-07-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to

The recent storms have had a marked affect on the seafront sand dunes. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 2504-07-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to


The destruction of some of Exmouth’s seafront dunes has re-ignited a 50-year-old debate on their future.

Opinion is divided on whether the dunes, flattened by recent storms in some places, should be rebuilt - and if so, how high.

Last week the Journal revealed how Environment Agency chiefs were considering adding tonnes of new sand to Exmouth’s beach, a technique called ‘beach nourishment.’

But many residents say they don’t want the dunes to be replaced – mirroring a debate waged in the Exmouth Journal more than 50 years ago.

Resident June Squire said: “In the 1960s the dunes were just beginning to be noticed. While walking along the Esplanade you could still see the sea.

“As usual, not everyone thought the same - some wanted them bulldozed and others thought they should be left to form.

“No guessing who won!”

She added: “When they were first put up, there as a big hue and cry about it. The dunes did help keep the sand off of the road.”

Resident Brian Charles Hardiman told the Journal: “What an absolute delight to be able to walk along our lovely seafront and actually see the sea instead of being funnelled along between a row of traffic and Sahara-like dunes. It takes me back to when we first came to Exmouth in 1962. There were no dunes there then.”

On Facebook Amy Warrener said: “I think they are really dangerous at the moment.

“On the other side there’s a huge drop where children could really hurt themselves. They should be made safe by putting back what the sea took.”

Helen Delamer said when she used to play on the beach when she was young the sand was a lot higher: “I think it has a lot to do with the fact we used to get huge boats coming into the docks and the sea bed was dredged regularly.

“That needs doing again for starters, sometimes a little interference is necessary to preserve and protect what is left, and maybe put back what has been lost.

“The dunes were the highest I’d ever seen them and maybe they needed to come down a bit.

“They will still be there, just a little lower perhaps, which I think looks better.

“There is also, however, the problem of sand blowing up on to the road and pavement in that area. All these things need to be thought about before any more building and demolition works happen there.”


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