Hebridean Coastline
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Machair protection at Clibh beach, Isle of Lewis PDF Print E-mail
About Coast Hebrides - News
Thursday, 18 November 2010 12:49

clibhe beach sand-blow fencingErosion of the dunes at Clibh beach has become worse in the last few years to the extent that it has reached the edge of the council built car-park/turning area. Damage from sand blow erosion is exacerbated by human and animal activity plus long term parking of vehicles or boats, the latter preventing regeneration of grass. In an effort to conserve the machair Valtos Grazings decided to seek advice from CoastHebrides.


It was recommended that fencing should be erected at Clibh to divert people from accessing the beach via the most encroaching sand blow area and that they limit the parking area for campers to the landward side of the road. There is a visible improvement to the vegetation on the seaward side of the track, now that wheeled vehicles can no longer park there.

Using disused, processed salmon farm nets and fencing posts, a small work party was given a practical lesson in how to erect sand-blow fencing. The materials were supplied by CoastHebrides purchased using funding from SNH and The Crown Estate Marine Stewardship scheme.

Sand –blow fences have been built in several different ways in the last decade throughout the Hebrides. The method used at Clibh is a simple one that seems to be proving effective where used in the Uists and Barra. Valtos Grazings hope the marram grass will, in time, regenerate to hold the shifting sands at Clibh. In just over two hours the group built two sand-blow fences and they shall now wait and see if they withstand the Northerlies that blow into Clibh.

Trapped sand

Update - after winter storms the sand blow fencing has been successful in gathering sand. Now that this trial has been completed, the grazings committee are to erect more fencing to protect the machair and this will be followed by planting marram grass to stabilse trapped sand.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 11:00