This weeks updates:

30/06/2014 The Environment Agency have released their latest update for the development work at Medmerry and are pleased to report that contractors have been on site since early May and landscaping and access works are progressing well and plans on having most of the work completed by August with some landscaping work and planting being completed in the autumn.

Please note that parts of the site are still hazardous and the Environment Agency advises that you do not attempt to cross the breach due to deep and fast flowing water, there is no access to the intertidal areas, the area, as well as being a haven for wildlife, has very soft ground and there is a risk of entrapment and stranding. If you walk on shingle bank between the two rock ends please check tide times and be award that conditions are constantly changing.

Please do not pick up any unidentified objects on the beach, be aware that a number of pieces of unexploded ordnance have been detonated this year by the arty bomb disposal team, if you see any suspicious objects please inform the coastguard on 999.

16/06/2014 The beach recharge is now complete, check out this wonderful footage of the Sospan Dau. Click Here

30/05/2014 The beach recharge is commencing next week. The profile of the beach is developing exactly as anticipated and the scheme has performed well through the worst storms and certainly the most persistent in recent times. It is important to note that the beach will always require work.

This June we will see the final load of shingle, which was due in October last year but was hampered by weather. The Sospan Dau is planned to deliver shingle in 30 loads starting next week, working with the tides.

We will also take the opportunity to tidy and re-profile the beach. Many will have seen how the height of the shingle has grown by nearly 6ft at Toe End, and we will re-level and take the excess material to the eastern end near the windmill breakwater, this process is likely to take a couple of weeks, the beach will not be closed however areas will be fenced off while work takes place. The beach will then be in tip top condition for all to enjoy the summer.

20/09/2013 The seawall is now breached and the nature reserve is now taking the tidal waters. Click here to see the latest pictures.

11/09/2013 The Environment Agency are currently breaching the seawall to create an intertidal area with The Medmerry Realignment Scheme. This will cause some public footpaths and rights of way to be closed some footpaths will be permanently re-routed behind the new flood bank. For more information please visit the Environment Agency website here.

08/07/2013 - The most recent Medmerry Construction update reports that the current work is on schedule and all defences are to be complete by the autumn. The flood bank adjacent to West Sands is now 90% complete, the section of flood bank from the beach at the west rock end, heading northwards to the Easton Rife is also 90% complete, all outfall structures are complete and the 1.7km Earnley diversion channel is 80% complete.

The breach work is expected to start at the end of August, the exact timings are unknown due to seas conditions and the current work progress, and the breached area will be not be safe to visit during this period.

22/05/2013 - 11,000 cubic metres of sand and shingle mix have now been added to the beach and the machining and profiling has been completed ready for the summer and there are no more scheduled deliveries until late autumn... All we need now is a few months of blue sky and sun!

08/05/13 - 10 more loads of shingle are being sprayed onto the beach over the next 7 days as part of the planned top up.

22/02/13 - The Environment Agency have been moving shingle from the Witterings to the edge of the Bunn Leisure boundary and blading the edges to neaten things up.

view all updates >>

Frequently Asked

About our beautiful beach

Q: What is the location of the defence scheme?
A: The work was carried out at West Sands on the Manhood Peninsular.

Q: How much did it cost?
A: The West Sands Coastal Protection scheme cost Bunn Leisure £16.8 million and was the first privately-funded sea defence project of its kind in the UK.

Q: Why is Bunn Leisure footing the bill?
A: Unfortunately we weren't left with much choice. We had hoped that Bunn Leisure would be included in the sea defence work that the Environment Agency carried out along the rest of the coast but that wasn't the case. The EA drew a line on the map which would have left 75% of West Sands unprotected. Our choice was to either conduct the work ourselves or close the business.

As the largest employer in the Selsey area, we also have a huge responsibility to our team. We employ 350 full time and 350 seasonal staff which all helps to generate £60 million for the local economy.

So you can see that if we didn't protect Bunn Leisure for the future it would have a huge impact on the area.

Q: Is this the first time work such as this has been funded privately?
A:  Yes this is the first case of this kind and size in the UK as this level of coastal
protection is usually carried out by the government body, the Environment Agency.

Q: Who carried out the work?
A: The scheme itself was contracted to the joint venture partnership of
Westminster Dredging/Dean & Dyball and followed design work from Atkins and environmental studies carried out by HR Wallingford.

Q: What materials were used?
A: We used 93,000 tonnes of granite rock from the Larvik Quarry in Norway which was chosen as it is denser than that from France and therefore much less susceptible to erosion. The rocks will vary in size from 0.3 tonnes up to a massive 10 tonnes each. Then, to recreate the beach, 500,000 tonnes of sand and shingle were be pumped onto the beach in what is called a shingle beach recharge.

Q: How were they transported?
A: The first stage of the transformation process was the creation of the two breakwaters. Rocks from the Larvik Quarry were transported from Norway in five shipments on the 'mother ship' which was anchored 1.5kms offshore. Then at high tides a shallow draught barge collected rocks for the core of the breakwaters and armour rocks for the outer layer.

At low tide these rocks were retrieved from the water, sorted into stockpiles
according to size before being manoeuvred into place by hydraulic diggers, huge all-terrain dumper trucks as well as 80-tonne and two 65-tonne excavators.

The second stage was the shingle beach recharge whaich involved building a pumping pipeline from a point 750m off-shore to the beach. Then 30 dredger trips each brought in 15,000m3 of sand and shingle to the pipeline so that it could be pumped to the shore creating our lovely beach.

Q: Why was the rock brought from Norway and not from nearer to home?
A: The rock was chosen from the Larvik Quarry in Norway because it is denser than that from France and therefore much less susceptible to erosion.

Q: How long did the project last?
A: The work started in April 2012 and finished in September


more posts...

Medmerry Realignment images 

Bunn Leisure. 20 September 2013

Read more

Medmerry Realignment update 

Bunn Leisure. 11 September 2013

Read more