Soft Engineering Strategy: The Sefton Coast

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  • Sefton Coast: Soft Engineering Strategy
    • Location: North of Liverpool, North-West England between Crosby and Southport. It is the largest dune area In England, stretching over 17km.
    • Problems
      • Large amounts of tourists in the 1960s and 70s caused damage to the frontal dunes.
      • -Removal of sand from the dunes by commercial contractors for the foundry trade and glass polishing.
      • Construction of ports and construction walls in Liverpool and Preston block longshore drift, and cause a build up of sediment.
      • Offroad vehicles have in recent years broken up the dunes and destroyed vegetation.
      • Dredging of the sea bed which means large amounts of gravel and sand have been removed. In addition, spoil dumping of toxic material has damaged ecosystems in the area.
    • Solutions
      • Prohibiting the use of off-road vehicles in most of the area.
      • Controlling the excavation of sand for commercial purposes
      • A determination to protect the area for future use, in other words to be sustainable. Establishment of a National Trust, Ravendeol, Birkdale, Sandhills, Cabin Hills and Ainsdale nature reserves  
      • A project to recreate the natural dune landscape destroyed by the pine plantations at Formby which has encouraged re-colonisation
      • The tree and scrub cover from existing frontal areas has helped establish and maintain many habitats including dune slacks and bare dunes.
      • Close monitoring of visitor access with controls in certain areas.


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