Good progress on Bournemouth beach


Mackley is making good progress on the first phase of a long-term project to provide enhanced protection to Bournemouth beach.

The current works are part of the Bournemouth Beach Management Scheme, a 17-year programme of work planned from 2015 to 2032.

The scheme will eventually see all of the existing 53 groynes replaced and an additional three new groynes constructed, along with beach replenishment every five years.

The entire project is expected to cost in the region of £50m, with the majority of funding provided by the Environment Agency and a smaller contribution from Bournemouth Borough Council.

The initial phase being carried out by Mackley will see 10 groynes replaced at a cost of £3.6m. Works commenced in October 2015 and are scheduled for completion in early June 2016 – before the busy summer season.

Steve Martin, Mackley Contracts Manager, said: “Progress was slow at the outset due to ground conditions making piling difficult. We overcame the conditions by pre-augering each position and installing piles using the Mackley Movax rig.

“Planking commenced as soon as first groyne piling was completed. The planks are 17 number deep x 300mm which requires considerable excavation volumes (see pic below), and all excavations have to be backfilled each day to prevent quicksand forming.

“To date we have completed all of the piling works and more than 50% of the planking.

“We are working single tides during neap tides and double tides for seven days during spring tides in order to complete works at outer ends.”


Different timber species are being used to construct the groynes, in order to test and monitor durability. Some feature Greenheart piles with Greenheart planking, others use a combination of Greenheart piles with Ekki planking, Ekki piles and planking, and Basralocus piles and planking.

Five of the eight existing groynes have been deconstructed, with planking and piles salvaged for re-use on future projects subject to the condition of the timber.

A new 50t excavator recently arrived onsite for use on the project, alongside the four existing Ovenden excavators and a Caterpillar D6 dozer.

21 March 2016

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