SCOPAC contributed £15,000 towards the monitoring of a trial which aims to place
sand on the seabed and allow natural processes to push it onshore to replenish the
beaches in Poole Bay.
Poole Harbour Commissioners provided the sand from maintenance dredging of Poole
Harbour entrance, thereby recycling the sand back into the system, rather than dumping
The Sand Motor (or Sand Engine) concept has been widely used in the Netherlands since
the 1990's given that it is cheaper and less intrusive compared with traditional
beach renourishment approaches (The Sand Engine: a solution for vulnerable deltas
in the 21st Century?Coastal Dynamics 2013). The works at Poole Bay are of national
importance given the Sand Motor concept has never been trialled on beaches in the
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) granted the licence to allow the placing
of sand in the sea. The works were undertaken between the 9th and 14th February 2015,
when 30,000m³ of sand was placed on the sea bed approximately 450m offshore at Canford
Cliffs Chine (Poole). Seven survey sets have been collected by the Channel Coast
Observatory (CCO) since the material was placed on the sea bed. Each set consists
of a topographic survey of the beach and a bathymetric survey of the sea bed. In
addition, fluorescent tracer studies were undertaken to establish a link between
the sediment deposited on the sea bed and the beach.
An Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) is still in position, which measures
the speed, direction and turbidity of water currents using sound waves. With the
ADCP installed, any turbidity difference between the trial and conventional beach
recharge can be assessed.
The final report has been prepared by the CCO, and a ‘lessons learned’ leaflet has
also been produced by the steering group for practitioners and regulators.