Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Great Storm of 2013

Thursday 5th December was no ordinary day here at Sandscale.  We had high tides of 9.81meters and the gusts of 63mph winds were pushing the tide even higher.  Although we had to cancel the volunteer work party, Neil and Myself were lucky enough to capture the events on camera...
This is the view from the boardwalk, usually the tide will be a good meter away from our frontal dunes on a really high tide.  Here our frontal dunes are just being engulfed by the storm surge.
This view of our blowout is only impressive when you learn that the bush at ground level used to be at the top of the dune.  Later this shrub was found just below our boardwalk, half a mile away
 This footage was captured whilst being stood inside the blow out, an hour before high tide.  Needless to say we couldn't hang around for long.

So what sort of damage was done?  Here are our before and after shots...
 Using the tree in the background as a marker, you can see the front ridge has all but disappeared

 The fence from the blowout that was catching sand and starting to build up as a ridge has completely gone, along with our fence.

Although dramatic, this is really good news for us.  Sandscale is a dynamic system with constantly shifting sands.  More bare sands create a good habitat for early pioneer plants.  It's also great news for our Natterjack Toads who bury into the sand dunes and hunt along the shore where vegetation is sparse.

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