Groynes on  UK beaches are one of the most beautiful and useful features found on our coast.

Wooden groynes are an essential control to keep beaches stable. Although groynes can be made of many materials it is the UK’s wooden groynes that do the job but also add character to the environment.

The purpose of a groyne is to stop sand and pebble movement along a stretch of coast. It does this by trapping beach material which helps build up a larger section of beach in front of an area that’s experiencing coastal erosion. They can often radically change a coastline and care must be taken and changes monitored as if you stop movement on one stretch of the beach then yes you build up one area but can starve another.

Groynes with waves on West Sussex beachAlthough rock groynes last the longest at Coast Radar we like the character of hardwood groynes. Due to their very nature groynes get a bashing all year round which leads to some beautiful smooth wood with rusty metal brackets.

Groynes in the UK

Wooden groynes on the British coastline

 

As well as helping keep the coastline in shape groynes also provide protection to the beachgoer. We all know that a typical trip to any British beach can be windy and the groyne can be the saviour in providing that natural windbreak and extending the time available to sit and enjoy the beach. They also provide a great source for beachcombers as they again trap shells and other interesting objects.

Groynes are positioned to trap beach material and are most effective on shingle or gravel beaches which is why the Sussex and Kent shores have an abundance.

Groynes with heavy waves

 

These pictures were taken on the West Sussex stretch between Littlehampton West beach and Middleton-on-Sea beach.

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