2nd April 2016
BHT along with most, if not all other local groups feel that repair of the Bembridge Point Groyne (aka No 1 Groyne) is a priority. BHT have been closely involved in a Bembridge and St Helens Harbour Assoc. (BASHHA) initiative to promote an experimental reinstatement of the groyne.
The groyne acts in two ways:
- As a traditional groyne arresting (delaying) longshore drift.
- As a training wall directing harbour flows, most particularly on the ebb.
The impact of an ineffective groyne is demonstrably the erosion of the point (at Bennetts seaward entrance) and the free traffic of material from the East into the harbour mouth. On the Ebb, which is more powerful than the flood, useful tidal forces capable of scouring the channel are dissipated over the sand bank to no positive effect.
Ecologically the drowning of important wildlife habitat by sand over mud, and the loss of intertidal habitat as Bembridge Point and Attrills Point grow, is negative. BHT feel repair of the groyne would represent a win/win situation for both the conservation and navigation values of the harbour.
A paper was tabled to the Harbour Company and support gained in principle by BASHHA from the IWC. Unfortunately the matter is currently stalled: in April 2016 the Harbour Company advised that they are not taking the matter further pending the outcome of their May 2014 Planning Application.