BHT sees dredging as a priority. Dredging is needed to maintain navigation, without which the business of the Harbour would fail and it’s users desert it. Maintenance of navigation is a statutory responsibility of any owner under the Bembridge Harbour Act. Without adequate maintenance of the channel and the ability to reach any amenity within the Harbour, further investment is compromised.
The Trust seeks a considered programme of dregding within the Harbour – not least to take advantage of natural flows to self-scour and reduce ongoing costs whilst improving navigability.
Dredging of mooring pools constitutes an attraction to visitors who do not want their boats to dry at low tide, falling over onto other rafted boats or damaging stern gear. However pools tend to act as slit traps and require frequent maintentance.
The matter is exacerbated as the main mooring areas are either in, or adjacent to, the main river with its sticky silt. In the Trust’s view the recent addition of finger pontoons within the main river and across the flow, create a damming effect that can only accelerate siltation. BHT are concerned that long stay should see considered investment and not be disadvantaged in favour of short stay moorings.
Maintenance of a free-flowing channel with maintained water speeds throughout the Harbour could help self-flushing of silt at the same time as enhancing access to moorings, marinas and clubs.
BHT believes that the groynes at the Harbour entrance play (or did play) an important role and we press for their reinstatement.
The Trust liaises closely with Bembridge Harbour Users Group (BHUG) and Bembridge and St Helens Harbour Assoc. (BASHHA) on these issues.