Several miles of sand dunes running along the coast at Berrow, Brean and Burnham-On-Sea have been cut back by this week’s high tides, but wildlife bosses say there is no need to worry because the dunes will ‘quickly recover in a matter of months’.
Burnham-On-Sea.com was first to report on Friday how 60mph gusts had combined with exceptionally high tides to send waves crashing onto Burnham’s seafront – and the scenes were repeated along the coast at Brean and Berrow.
There, sand was swept away from several spots, leaving sharp ‘cliffs’ at the edge of the dunes – but Bob Corns, English Nature’s Lead Conservation Officer for the Severn Estuary, said residents needn’t be concerned.
Speaking to Burnham-On-Sea.com on Monday, he said: “After extreme high tides like those over the last few days, we often see the dunes take a battering.”
“The sand is drawn away by the waves and taken down the beach, but very little is permanently removed and it soon dries out and is then blown back up to the front of the dunes, reforming them over time.”
“The only time we hit major problems are when the high tides combine with major storms and we see thinning of the undergrowth around the sand, but fortunately that hasn’t happened this time.”
“For that reason, we’re not particularly concerned about these tides, even though they have been some of the highest for some time. We’re confident the dunes will sort themselves out and nature will run its course, building them back up in a matter of months.”