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Exe Estuary Management Partnership

For people, for wildlife, for the future

Dawlish Warren Beach Management Scheme Feedback


Last Updated

Spreadsheet of Feedback

IDNameGroynes – reducing maintenance and removal?Dune ‘trials’ – to actively remove sections of dune within Central section?Geotube – to actively remove once exposed?Relic gabions – to actively remove along the Distal section?Any other feedback
1 They have done a much better job than some of the daft ideas which have recently wrecked the natural environment of the warrenAgain another daft idea. Why not listen to people who know what they are talking about.Who advised these were to be used in the first place?They are an eyesoreThese are a hazard on the beach and add to the appearance of a rubbish tip.The whole exercise to date has been misguided and an appalling waste of money. People in offices not listening to people who have worked on the river Exe all of their lives.
2 Groynes are an effective way of retaining sand and should be maintained/reinstated (The sea destroyed Teignmouth sea defences when the groynes were removed resulting in their immediate reinstatement at huge cost)No – the dunes should be protected with Gabions. The sea will quickly remove any sand placed on the beach. Do we never learn?Dawlish Warren is essential for the protection of low land around the estuary, and the nature reserve. Gabions should be reinstatedGabions should be replacedPerhaps we should watch the Otter estuary?
3     The case for pro-actively retaining the warren should be considered. It makes sense to try and retain this natural wave barrier for many reasons including:-
1) Environmental – Why is Natural England actively supporting an agenda which will destroy all the natural resources protected by the Warren, both directly behind the Warren and also up the estuary?
2) Flood Defence – Is it acknowledged that wave height in the estuary would substantially increase if the Warren was lost and thus compromise existing flood defences?
3) Cost – Rather than plan and build flood defence for all the assets up the estuary (eg 4 miles of mainline railway to the west, similar length of branch line to the east) would it not be cheaper to pro-actively defend the Warren?
4 Until (and only if) the beach level lowers, they should be retained. Groynes are a proven as effective against longshore drift and reduce sand entering and shallowing the estuary.The effects of this are unknown and should not be considered.What exactly is the planning provision that dictates removal by 2049?  Planning decisions set for the future can be amended.But they are in place and doing a sea defence job and should therefore be retained. 
5    Remove 
6SCN0012Sand levels can rise as well as fallAre the dunes not produced by natural processes?Why so confident that the condition of the SSSI and SAC will necessarily improve? Surely the lesson of the last intervention is that consequences are hard to predictImpact how?Failing to maintain the warren and allowing nature to take its course is a frightening prospect for those occupying the fringes of the estuary. The cost of protecting individual communities must surely strongly outweigh the cost of maintaining the warren
7SCN0013Retain as they help to protect warren & SSSI & SACKeep dunes to protect SSSI/ SAC/ WarrenRemove geotube will threaten distal end and whole estuaryKeep to protect distal endNo indication given as to the impact of Warren breakthrough on Estuary sedimentation. Cost/ benefit analysis? Cheaper to protect the warren?
8Exmouth WatersportsHistory suggests that a man made change in one area can lead to a change in another area, typically unrelated. Orcombe beach has a lot of nourishment, is that from Dawlish?Dunes are a fantastic habitat and may encourage biodiversity. They would need protection and engineering support as they establish themselvesHave they really worked?Is this the right question? The estuary is ‘silting up’ rather quickly. The river flows and the many brooks keep is usable for small craft at high tide and perhaps it is better for migrating birds1) protect the feeding of migrating birds, we do our best, perhaps a continuous high tide officer?
2) Sewage – what is the future plan? I know that the water authority has inherited a woeful stock and that the law allows spoils. But surely in the 21st century something more should be done to protect the estuary form pollution, or and indeed the whole ocean and all rivers
9 Leave as long as possibleCannot assess the worth of thisLeave as long as possibleLeave to natural degradationIt looks like massive & costly civil works, let nature run the course!
10     1) What happened/ what were the impacts up estuary at the last warren flattening in the 1940s?
2) It would be useful to understand consequences of warren flattening upstream and timescales
11 Not sure! Balance is key!Not sure! Inclined to think that ‘active’ removal should be avoidedNot sure! Installed at great expense so inclined to think that they should be left in place for as long as possible to get best valueNot sure but inclined to think they should be left in situGeneral consensus that the Warren needs to be protected to safeguard infrastructure and homes, but needs to be balanced with environmental impact. Can lessons be learnt from any of the northern France coastline? Don’t feel qualified to comment on individual interventions but gut feeling is to avoid ‘active’ interventions and let things deteriorate gradually
12SCN0018To help manage the sand and assist groyne management, possibly remove every other groyne to see if it assists the sand movementI wouldn’t agree with parts of the dunes being removed. This would weaken the dune structureGeotubes are currently exposed and do not appear to be effective due to storm damage. They should be replaced with revetment to protect the distal endGabion baskets to be repaired or replaces to assist in wave control 
13SCN0019Review design and orientation of groynes. Trial removal of every other groyne i.e. odd or even numbers, to include 15-18, before total removal. Protecting amenity and flood protection is paramountDisagreeBuild new revetment (dycel?) to ensure the distal end remains a natural shelterDisagree. Repair or replace gabion baskets and matressing to continue protection of dunesThere comes a time when long term protection for this area needs to be sorted. This time has now come for this to happen. Perhaps a barrage or barrier is a viable option. The protection of people, property, businesses, infrastructure and utilities – paramount.
14 Groynes at the far end that have no function should probably be removed  The damaged relic gabions make the site look very poor and as though they are not looked after. The monitoring and removal of damaged wire and broken sections should be increased, to increase safety and appearanceVery difficult to find my opinion on this hugely complicated & technical project. Much better left to the experts
15 No – leave as is as long as possible – have proved their worthNo – once sand taken away, can not be put back – let nature take its course and don’t interfereIt is there now – leave as long as possibleNow there – leave. They are doing something to protect the Estuary and communitiesHusband has worked on and watched for 80 years.
The emphasis in this questionnaire is on the SSSI and SAC but finally at the meeting mention was made of the Estuary, communities and people around it.
Birds are and can relocate because of climate change and are.
Nature will wind its own way – we should interfere only when necessary and when more is known about the consequences.
We do not know enough yet, so caution more thought needs to be made of the risk to people and communities.
16 It limited benefit but little adverse effect, leave as they are. This would save cost and disturbanceWhat would the trials be? Planting would/ may be beneficialMore research required. How will flooding be prevented?Agree remove if dangerous but what are flood and breaching implicationsThe question of what action to take is beyond most stakeholders expertise. Suggest that a full investigation and modelling is carried out before any further action. There are likely to be similar estuaries where similar conditions prevail. The Exe should be looked at and compared to other areas (Chichester Harbour?) before any action taken. EA should budget for additional prevention within the estuary up to Exeter.