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 experiencing coastal erosion. They can often radically change a coastline, and care must be taken and changes monitored. If you stop movement on one stretch of the beach, then yes, you build up one area but can starve another.
Although rock groynes last the longest, at Coast Radar, we like the character of hardwood groynes. Due to their very nature, groynes get bashing all year round, which leads to some beautiful smooth wood with rusty metal brackets.
As well as helping keep the coastline in shape, groynes protect 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.