Marines move shifting sands

THE shifting sands of Instow have been held at bay for the time being, thanks to the help of the Royal Marines.

Sand has been building up and overtopping the beach wall, blowing into the bus shelter, across the footpath, roadway and even into houses.

So Instow Parish Council turned to their near neighbours the Royal Marines.

Their call for help was answered and a party of Marines from the transport division, armed with heavy machinery, undertook the community project as part of a training exercise.

They removed the main bulk of the sand to another area, leaving the parish council only to tidy up. The problem area between the bus stop and the edge of the dunes is now in a good state for the winter.

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“We are grateful to the Royal Marines for what they have done,” said parish clerk Roger Jacob. “We have a good relationship with them. They put themselves out to be seen as part of the community and are very much prepared to support us in projects like this, if it is possible and within their training strategy.”

But the sand had been removed before and it would come back, he said.

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They must continue to search for a strategy for a permanent solution.

Work was progressing on setting up a steering group of interested parties, including the Environment Agency, Devon County Council, North Devon District Council, the Coast and Countryside Service, land owners and themselves to consider a beach and dune management plan, he said.

As this was a Site of Special Scientific Interest they must also safeguard the dunes and the natural shoreline.

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