The East Kent Engineering Partnership, working on behalf of Dover District Council, has secured funding for beach management works between Oldstairs Bay and Sandown Castle for the five year period from 2017 to 2021. In total £1.5 million has been awarded from the Environment Agency’s Flood Defence Grant in Aid budget, which will ensure a high standard of protection against sea flooding for the 7km frontage. The work will involve annual beach recycling works as required, and construction of rock groynes in North Deal and at Kingsdown to ensure sufficient beach is retained in the future. The Beach management works are informed by survey data provided by the Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme.
In Deal a large recycling operation was undertaken in October 2017 with approximately 30,000m3 of shingle moved from a 2km area north of Sandown castle to the frontage between Deal Pier and Sandown Castle. At Kingsdown 5,000m3 of material was recycled in June-July 2017, with a further 22,000m3 recycled in June-July 2018. This preceded the most novel part of the project: the temporary construction of two geotextile bags “geobags” in groynes formation which began in July 2018.
The project hopes to maintain these two geobag groynes for an 18 month period with monthly beach surveys to measure the movement of the groynes, condition of the geotextile and ability to retain beach levels. In addition there will be regular visual inspections of the condition of the geobags and the stability of the groyne structures. This trial will inform placement of two permanent rock groynes, which will be constructed in Winter 2019/2020 subject to approvals. The geobag project has two primary aims:
1. Monitor the effect of the groynes on sediment movement in order to test the effectiveness of the proposed locations for permanent rock groynes
2. Contribute to existing research on the suitability of geobags for temporary groyne construction