Swanbridge Beach clear-up on track for summer 2015

BEACH: More than half of the beach has now been cleared (4852096)

CLEAR-UP: Gavin Beddard (left) and Gordon Hadfield with one of the diggers carrying out the work (4852087)

First published in News

THE CLEAR-UP of tonnes of rubble and scrap metal that has plagued Sully’s Swanbridge Beach for nearly 30 years is on track to be completed by summer 2015.

In May 2012 it was announced that work would begin to clear the beach of tonnes of concrete rubble and scrap metal that was dumped there in the 1980’s to strengthen the sea wall by the then owners of the Captain’s Wife pub.

Residents had long campaigned for the beach to be cleared and their prayers were finally answered when caravan park owner Gordon Hadfield and site manager Jeff Higgins said that they planned to return the beach to its former glory.

Since then two years diggers have been working to pick up the discarded rubble, break it up and have it removed from the beach area.

Once the rubble is cleared the scrap metal is taken away and the clear-up moves to the next section of the beach.

It is hoped that the beach can eventually be filled with sand and become a welcome tourist attraction to the area.

Last year hundreds of tourists made the most of the clearance work that had already begun by going to the beach with their buckets and spades.

Jeff Higgins, site manager of The Spinney and Island View Caravan Park, said: “The clear up is coming along well and hopefully by 2015 we should have it more or less finished.

“We noticed a lot more visitors last summer where people came with their buckets and spades and were really enjoying it. People didn’t know the beach prior to this and it was nice to have the beach back to what it was like before the concrete was there.”

He added that the overall reaction had been good: “Local residents and visitors to the area have said how good it looks now. They can’t believe how much we have got done so far and we are improving the beach overall.”

He added that he hoped a good summer would allow them to progress with work and look forward to finishing.

Gordon Hadfield, the owner of The Spinney and Island View Caravan Park, added: “It’s all coming together now.

“We have cleared more than half of it and by the time this summer comes more than half the beach will be usable to the public.”

Gavin Beddard, assistant site manager, added that one of the main problems delaying the progress of work, and the appearance of the area in general, was dog owners discarding used dog poo bags in the enclosure where work is being completed and nearby bushes.

“They are coming down with their dogs, picking up their dog poo in bags, and throwing them on the beach or in the hedges,” he said

“We have had between 10 and 20 bags in the last few days.

“We are finding it everywhere.”

He added that dog owners should wait until they found a bin to get rid of their dog poo bags.

A Vale Council spokesman said the council would not be placing bins in the area as Swambridge Beach was privately owned and therefore outside the council’s duty to clean or maintain.

He added that the council would not be able to consider providing any other services, such as monitoring the area, for the same reason.

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