Beach Management Scheme

A 17-year plan to protect Bournemouth’s coastline during 2015 to 2032

Bournemouth Beach Management Scheme is a programme of work, planned from 2015 to 2032 to:

• Replace Bournemouth’s existing 53 groynes

• Construct an additional three new groynes

• Replace the groyne at Hengistbury Head known as ‘Long Groyne’

• Replenish the beach every five years

Progress Update

In early 2018 six new groynes at the Southbourne end of the seafront were completed. A further six have been replaced in 2019.

Long Groyne
Routine inspections have revealed localised damage to the underlying foundations of Long Groyne, Hengistbury Head. There is already planned work in the programme for Long Groyne. For safety reasons and as a precaution, the structure has been temporarily closed.

Access and Safety

Please stop and read the information and safety advice on the signage posted near to any site works. Ensure children and pets are kept out of work sites.

Disruption to the public is being kept to a minimum. However, please take extra care as there will be slow moving contractor's vehicles frequently using the promenade and beach.

If contractor’s vehicles are approaching please consider using the signposted pedestrian refuges on the edge of the promenade.

It is essential that small sections of the beach around the groyne works are closed off for several weeks. This is for public safety.

This is to allow soft sand areas to consolidate. The public must not enter these demarcated and clearly signed areas. We also request that you keep animals on a lead to prevent them from straying into the closed off areas.

Please take note of any safety signs, directional signage and site cordons which are there for your own safety.

Beach Management Scheme FAQs


Sand is dredged from a licensed area of seabed, for example, to the South East of the Isle of Wight. It is brought by dredger close to the section of beach where it will be deposited. The sand is then pumped through a long pipe on to the beach. The sand is mixed with water to assist it being pumped. As the mixture exits the pipe the water flows back in to the sea leaving the new sand behind. The beach is then levelled using bulldozers.


The cost of phase one (2015-2020) is £17.5m approximately. The total cost of the entire project (phases 1 – 3) is £50m approximately. The majority is funded by the Environment Agency and a small proportion by Council funding and local levy.


The works will require parts of the beach to be cordoned off for safety reasons. Every effort will be made to ensure the promenade is accessible for seafront users. There may be times when access is restricted.

Please take note of safety signs that will be clearly displayed during the works.


Initially the sand may look darker than the current beach. It will lighten to a normal colour with exposure to oxygen and daylight.

In the first few weeks very small cliffs may appear as the wave action sorts the new sand. These will disappear as the sand is moved by wind and waves into a natural beach profile. The new sand has a similar particle size to the existing beach.


The groynes would eventually deteriorate and no longer be effective. The beach would eventually be washed away. The sea wall would become exposed and disintegrate, exposing the cliffs to further erosion.


A phased programme of work is  planned for the next 17 years. This is to replace the existing 53 groynes and install an additional three. We are also replacing the groyne at Hengistbury Head known as the Long Groyne. 

There will be beach replenishment taking place once every five years. The first phase started in autumn 2015 until 2020. Phases two and three carried out over a further 12 years. Work will take place in the autumn, winter and spring to avoid the busy summer season.


The first phase (October 2015 to April 2020) involves the replacement of 30 groynes. These are along the coast from Southbourne to Hengistbury Head. Beach replenishment has taken place between Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers and to the east of Boscombe Pier. We are replacing 320,000 cubic metres of sand during autumn/winter 2015/16.

The second and third phases (up to year 2032) will replace the remaining 29 groynes. These are along the seafront from Southbourne to Alum Chine. There will also be a further two beach replenishment operations. The locations of the future beach replenishments will be determined nearer the time. We continually monitor beach levels and will assess which areas need attention.


The work is required to ensure that Bournemouth’s coastline continues to be protected from coastal erosion in the future.

The sea wall and groynes alone will not protect the coastline. The beach is eroded over time by wave action and the longshore drift. The sand must be dredged and pumped back on to the beach to maintain it.

It is important that we maintain the beach as it is one of the UK’s biggest attractions. There is an estimated 4.5 million visitors per year as well as being enjoyed by thousands of residents.


The life span of a groyne is around 25 years. They must be replaced periodically to ensure the coastline continues to be protected. The process for removing and replacing each groyne can take up to two months.


Groynes were originally installed along the coastline in 1915. Groynes control beach material and prevent undermining of the promenade seawall.

Groynes interrupt wave action and protect the beach from being washed away by longshore drift. Longshore drift is the wave action that slowly erodes the beach.