Yacht club appeals for sand to be returned to beach

PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 April 2018 | UPDATED: 07:14 17 April 2018

Weston Bay Yacht Club clubhouse, Uphill beach.

Weston Bay Yacht Club clubhouse, Uphill beach.

Archant

Sailors are appealing for North Somerset Council to return the sand to Uphill beach to fill in the muddy ‘chasm’ which has cut off the yacht club.

Members of Weston Bay Yacht Club say they have to wade through mud to get to the club as the sand has been stripped away from the beach.

Members believe the erosion has been caused, in part, by the movement of sand to build the course for Weston Beach Race.

North Somerset Council says it would cost thousands of pounds to haul sand to that part of the beach.

Club treasurer Mick Aspell said: “Lots of people are affected, not just the yacht club.

“The dog walkers and fishermen can’t get through the mud and the emergency services can’t get to us.

“The septic tank can’t be emptied either because they can’t get their lorry through it.

“People who come by car have to park before the mud and then wade through it.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before. The sand is always moving, but it’s never made this deep ditch and scoured out so much.

“It’s from the sea wall down to the sea, so every time the high tide comes in that drags even more sand and mud away.

“It’s getting deeper and deeper and it’s dangerous.

“During the beach race, they make huge hills and they move a huge amount of mud around and load it up against the entrance to Uphill beach – so we think that’s the major part of the problem.

“Plus the water sometimes moves the sand around anyway.”

Yacht club commodore Jeff Parker has written to North Somerset Council to ask the authority to return some of the sand to Uphill beach to fill in the chasm.

Mr Parker said: “We’ve got no vehicle access, which they have a duty to give us under the terms of our lease.”

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “This is a naturally occurring issue and has nothing to do with the RHL Beach race as sand is not moved this far down the beach.

“The gully has been naturally occurring as a result of the heavy rain, snow melt and current tidal system.

“The area is still accessible and the rangers carry out daily checks.

“To pay for sand haulage to re-profile the beach at this end would cost thousands of pounds.

“Due to the current tidal and weather conditions, it would probably end up in exactly the same state in a few weeks’ time.”

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