Thursday, 8 November 2007
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
The people of South Wales need to fight for their beaches. Please write to the powers that be using the arguments in the comments on this post.
Please write to Ms Davidson -WAG, Rhodri Morgan, Edwina Hart and HRH The Prince Of Wales - Crown Estates.
Use the arguments outlined in the comments of this Post - they have been submitted by the Gower Society and Gower SOS. Also add your comments here. . . .
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Sand has been disappearing from Gower's beaches and many people suspect they know why. South Wales Evening Post Environment reporter RICHARD YOULE takes an in-depth three-part look at the row over dredging. Here's his report in the comments link below.
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
Thursday, 21 June 2007
As we wait for the Welsh Assembly decision on continuing and possibly increasing aggregate dredging of the Helwick sand bank, evidence is still flooding in on the damage already caused. Left is a picture of Caswell Bay from the East side. The family are helping their child across dangerous rocks, this was thick sand 20 years ago. I know as I used to run across sand between the two big rocks in the foreground onto more sand.
All these pictures are the tip of a huge issue developing on Gower and other beaches.
Claire is highly concerned about Horton and Port Eynon with extremely good reason. The picture of Horton Left has been used on the right hand sand of this web blog to help illustrate the devastation that has been caused by dredging the Helwick and other inshore sand banks over the past years. Check out Claire's other shots from April 2007 here.
We must urge the WAG to take immediate action to halt inshore dredging. The evidence is piling in from witnesses of the mass destruction of one of Wales last natural resources.
Monday, 14 May 2007
This will have a direct impact on this respected and popular attraction and affect other businesses related to tourism.
Swansea and Gower rely heavily on visitors to boost the local economy.
The dredging of sand from the Helwick sandbank must have had an influence on the erosion of sand from Port Eynon beach. In the light of this recent evidence the Welsh Assembly Government must reconsider any decision to grant further dredging so close to Gower's precious and beautiful coastline. CLICK COMMENT BELOW FOR MORE
Monday, 30 April 2007
Wednesday, 14 March 2007
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
The National Trust is calling for caution over the issue of further dredging off the Gower coast.
The Assembly will soon announce its decision on whether further dredging should be permitted.
Ruth Williams, National Trust Wales policy manager, called on the assembly not to let the dredging go ahead.
She said "We urge the Assembly to exercise caution here and look after the beautiful Gower coast, not only for the million or more people who visit Gower every year and the businesses that depend on them, but also for the sake of the outstanding landscape, wildlife and archaeology of the area."
"The Assembly should have faith in its stated policy to move dredging offshore into the deeper waters of the Bristol Channel."
"The National Trust looks after 26 miles of the coastline of Gower and we want to ensure it can be enjoyed by future generations." She added.
Photographed yesterday 07/03/2007 at Spring tide low water. These look like supports for a pier or platform maybe used for the historical unloading of coal at Oxwich. Do you know anyone with knowledge as to their purpose? Also photographed are possible random tree stumps and increases in exposed rock areas. Link to larger image.
Friday, 16 February 2007
After many first sightings of huge numbers of Sand Gapers (Clam type) spread across the beach over the last few weeks, it must be time for the Welsh Assembly to investigate the link between this disaster and dredging of our sand banks.
More Pictures More Pictures More Pictures More Pictures More Pictures
That is 1,000 times worse than I saw or imagined - looks like the Razor's had a bashing as well. Walked Caswell to Mumbles yesterday - Caswell, Langland, Bracelet all lost considerable sand this winter. When I get back on 5th - am going to do some photo work on my old Cove East Caswell. I estimate sand is 3 metres lower than 25 year ago - beach / sand areas are diminished massively. - Disgusted. If this dredging decision goes for more dredging - will be seriously thinking of emigrating my life and business. Even Royal Westminster Boskalis the Helwick dredging company cannot justify continuing even if WAG and Crown Estates want them too.
Thursday, 15 February 2007
The South Wales Evening Post quoted Mr Cairns comments on the National Trust - Shifting Shores report.
"This is yet more evidence of the damage we are doing to our precious coastline - Sea level rises and reckless dredging are putting our finest assets at risk - this Assembly Government has singularly failed to tackle the issues raised by coastline erosion - this report shows how indefensible their position is - we cannot afford to give up on our beaches, cliffs and coastal communities."
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
Help save our coastline and even if you do not live on Gower it may be yours next....
National Trust Web Site press releases or if not yet published E-mail them or us for a copy.
The Economist Feb
Even sand is a matter of national secu- rity. On February 6th, an Indonesian ban on sand exports came into force, following a similar move by Malaysia some years ago. Singapore buys the sand to reclaim land from the sea and increase its puny ter- rain. Indonesia's official reason for the ban was to stop the environmental damage caused by sand mining. The Indonesian navy has now sent no fewer than eight warships to its maritime border with Singapore to intercept suspected sand-smugglers.
Monday, 12 February 2007
Friday, 9 February 2007
Dear Sir or Madam,
Regarding the disappearance of Gower beaches: in effect what is happening is the complete destruction of a unique ecosystem based on Ice Age glacial deposits. As well as offshore considerations (e.g., Helwick is SAC-listed), the licensing authority should be aware that dredging is irreparably damaging Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty– maintaining a sustainable ecology is paramount.
Llanelli Sand Dredging 1938 was bought up by Westminster Dredging, then bought by Royal Boskalis Westminster nv which is a Netherlands based international group with a leading position in the world market for dredging. Each time a smaller company was subsumed by a larger one and now dredging in Swansea Bay has changed from a local industry to a national one to an international one, in effect leaving the area unprotected from globalised industrialism.
Since February 2006 the rebased closing price for Royal Boskalis Westminster Group is up 25% compared with all other shares at 10%. Many shareholders of the Dutch parent company are unaware (or do not want to be aware) of the consequences of their investment. I think we should take direct action and use the media to inform them of what they may be doing to our heritage. It is ironic that Westminster have won awards for creating beaches – what penalty then for their destruction?
Despite receipts to the Treasury of £191 million net revenue, the Welsh Assembly could be asked to justify that the profit to the Exchequer (through Crown Estates) is consistent with the cost to the environment, culture, local economy and ecology… and the wishes of the People.
Thursday, 8 February 2007
Tuesday, 6 February 2007
Wednesday, 31 January 2007
Tuesday, 30 January 2007
The WAG's excuse is that there is no proven link between 50 years of dredging and beach errosion... how about a cessation of dredging for at least 20 years to observe the possible results?
Wednesday, 24 January 2007
Euphoria Sailing Ltd. & Watersports 4 All – representing tourism operators and Gower SOS Save our sands on this issue.
I swam at various Gower beaches nearly every day as a child, 20+ years ago with sand eel shoals everywhere.
When I walk to the same beaches over the last few years the sand has gone and huge rocks have been revealed.
I spend nearly every day in or on the water at Oxwich Bay, the sand eels have gone, the cockle beds are thin – less sand and less cockles. Last Sunday Clams were strewn across the beach torn from their unsheltered beds, which should be 18 inches deep. On Monday Pobbles was a lunar landscape with a 1-metre decrease in sand. I’ve never seen this before. As a sailing and powerboat instructor I understand the seasonal weather changes and tidal flows more than most, I cannot teach sailing and launch boats on rocky beaches – it’s dangerous.
Something is taking our beaches, I’ve taken some sand, natural phenomena have taken some, and the open cast sand dredgers have taken 100M T. If we stop dredging today sand will still relocate from beaches to backfill the sand banks, which protect our beaches, possibly for years to come. Think of the egg timer and use this as an analogy to imagine future sand erosion.
I understand the implications to the dredging jobs, construction industry and bank rolls. We need to dredge our shipping channels but exporting our sand for huge profits not returned to the local economy is a finite rape of our most beautiful natural resource. In parts of Europe sand dredging is banned up to 25K offshore so they import it from Wales. Tourism employs 30K people in this area, fishing is huge and its on the up – we will ruin this forever – this is sand formed in the last ice age which our children and visitors will never enjoy at its best. With storm surges and global warming a reality our sand banks will have to work harder to reduce the Atlantic swells and storms forecast to protect our coastline, the banks will use what is left on the beach to protect the bays.
We have to provide evidence to halt this, the dredging companies use expensive lasers, sonar’s and employees to produce their biased arguments. Dredging owners have also owned tobacco companies, they are well used to pulling the wool over our eyes.
We can produce masses of scientists and public anecdotal evidence to prove the opposite. Why should we fight to protect our beaches – the dredgers should be fighting us to take them. The Welsh Assembly needs to action this today, the environmental issue is in the limelight more and more and the politicians discuss it more and more. We need definite action today. Please put pen to paper to Rhodri Morgan, please internet surf the Gower SOS website and blog, visit the Euphoria Sailing and Mumbles Matters blogs on this issue, just leave an electronic protest, it’s a permanent record of your support. Spend time gaining an opinion and then time acting on it. Sand costs only £30 a ton delivered locally, without tourism property prices will drop, the sand will run out, what will construction do then. It’s economically viable to get sand elsewhere, it’s happened with coal and now natural Gas.
What would we say if we drove to work each day, passing Aberavon Beach, Swansea Bay or Port Eynon watching the sand being dug off the beach with huge tractors. It’s happening covertly with huge ships sucking the life and livelihood from our South Wales coast.