Q: What is SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay? 

A: SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay is an Association of people who are committed to protecting and preserving the beauty and integrity of Hayle Beach and Dunes and the beaches of St Ives Bay by campaigning for:-

  • the permanent cessation of the removal of sand by dredging for commercial sale.
  • the re-introduction of sluicing, the historical remedy for maintaining a harbour and a safe navigable channel without the loss of sand. 

Q: Who can join SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay?

A: Anyone who cares for the environment and is interested in the protection and preservation of a beach and dune system from erosion caused by commercial dredging and is willing to help and support in any way no matter how large or small.

Q: What is our Vision?

A: Save our Sand Hayle, St Ives Bay is committed to a vibrant and successful harbour while protecting the environment of the beach, estuary and St Ives Bay.

Q: Isn’t erosion a natural condition which has nothing to do with man and therefore we cannot blame dredging?

A: Erosion is a natural process, but in the case of erosion on Hayle Beach and Dune System it is simply Nature responding to ill-judged human intervention in the form of the permanent removal of sand by dredging for commercial purposes. The removal of sand from a finite budget of sand has changed the topography of the beach. The beach has significantly lowered in level and this in turn has exposed the dunes to wave action. The beach is no longer capable of protecting and providing a source of sand to the dune and nor can the dune supply the beach. The important symbiotic relationship between the beach and dune has been snapped due to human interference through dredging.

Q: What is SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay's position in relation to the safety of fisherman and pleasure craft which use the estuary and bar?

A: SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay would like to make it clear that is not against maintaining a safe and navigable channel for our fishing fleet, leisure boat users and other commercial craft. We regard a working port as important to Hayle. However our beach is critically important to Hayle, St Ives Bay and Cornwall in general. We are totally opposed to the removal of sand from the natural system and are against the exploitation and selling of this finite natural resource under the guise of keeping the channel clear. There are better methods to achieve the objective of a safe and navigable channel. Specifically SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay proposes a return to sluicing but, will consider any method which will not lead to the removal of sand and helps protect the beach and dunes.

Q: Why did this happen? 

A: Hayle Beach is part of the St Ives Bay closed sand cell. There is only a finite budget of sand in the region. From this finite budget of sand, in a period from May 2008 to April 2010, ING’s contractor removed a minimum of 53,000 tonnes. As the licence drew to a close, over 16,000 tonnes (recorded) were removed in a three month period in one zone in close proximity to Hayle Beach. Anything up to 700 plus tonnes was being commercially extracted daily by both suction dredging and a mechanical digger and truck in a narrow and sensitive zone. 

Q: Is SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay opposed to ING? 

A: No. ING can play an important role in the regeneration of Hayle, however ING’S previous actions to remove and sell sand has been detrimental to the Hayle Beach Dunes and Estuary and the impact of their interference has had an adverse impact upon the natural environment of St Ives Bay, in particular the St Ives Bay Sand Cell.

SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay do not want to stand in the way of the regeneration of Hayle, but it is not prepared to lose our beach and dunes as a cost of redevelopment. The onus is now upon ING to prove their long term commitment to Hayle by not returning to the removal of sand by dredging and committing to methods which will safeguard our beaches and dune systems. SOS Hayle, St Ives Bay will examine every way to protect and preserve our beach and dune environment including opposition to ING if it fails to meet its duties and responsibilities to that environment.

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