Pebbledashed sand gets people talking
THOUSANDS of pebbles have been left strewn across Westward Ho! beach after a combination of high tides and strong winds.
The normally uninterrupted expanses of sand are now covered in pebbles pulled from the beach's pebble ridge by the tide.
This is not the first recent instance of erosion of the ridge.
In November, Torridge District Council, which owns the beach, and Devon County Council had to take action when erosion of the ridge and Northam Burrows caused a former rubbish dump, which had been buried for two decades, to be exposed.
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Mark Evans, the general manager of Royal North Devon Golf Club on Northam Burrows, believes it is the erosion of the sand, rather than the ridge, uncovering the pebbles.
He said it reveals where the ridge used to be and how much it has been pushed back.
He added: "There is always a lot of sand movement but this is one of the most extreme I have seen it, you don't often see this many pebbles."
Jim Hoskings, who lives in Westward Ho! and walks on the beach most days, said: "Those pebbles could be used to recharge the ridge to help protect it being damaged further. We could do with rock armour being all along the ridge and burrows."
People on the beach on Monday said they had never seen pebbles on the beach like this before.
Kirstine Durk, from Torrington, said: "I have lived in this area all my life but I have never seen it like this. It makes it interesting for the kids. It means there are rock pools in the pebbles which they can play in."
The district council does not think the pebbles have come from the ridge but have just been uncovered by sand being removed.
Council spokesman Ian Hayter said: "Our engineers have visited and inspected the site in question.
"They believe that the recent high tides have washed away sand on the beach leaving the pebbles exposed on the foreshore.
"These are pebbles that were previously buried under the sand.
"They do not think the pebbles came off the ridge and have found no evidence that the ridge has been damaged, weakened or breached."
A report is currently being compiled on the management of Northam Burrows and Westward Ho! beach by council officers. It is scheduled to be discussed at the council's community and resource's committee meeting next month.