Christmas trees to shore up Guernsey coastal defences

Sand dunes at Grandes Rocques Damage caused by storm and humans has created gaps in the natural coastal defences

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Recycled Christmas trees will be used to improve Guernsey's coastal defences at Grandes Rocques.

They will be used to repair the sand dunes that form a natural barrier between the beach and the coast road.

It follows damage caused by storms and by islanders walking through the dunes to get to the beach.

Environment Minister Peter Sirett said: "Christmas trees are a natural material and are ideal for this type of restoration work on damaged dunes."

He said: "We are delighted to be able to make use of the trees for such an important project - and at virtually no cost.

"Once the work is complete we would make a plea for people to keep to the designated paths to prevent further damage to the dune vegetation and so help prevent future erosion."

Drop in sales

The department said Marram Grass, which grows in the dunes, was robust against wind and weather but was easily damaged if trampled.

It said as paths and gaps formed due to plants dying the dune became more susceptible in bad weather.

The trees will be placed on their sides in shallow trenches in gaps and eroded areas on the beach side of the dunes to help trap wind-blown sand and allow vegetation to grow and stabilise the sand.

The Public Services Department has provided the trees, which were among about 5,500 trees recycled after Christmas.

It said the number of those recycled was down on the previous year but this was probably due to a reported drop in sales.

The work will be undertaken by Environment Guernsey, the commercial arm of La Societe Guernesiaise, which carried out dune restoration work at Vazon that has significantly reduced the amount of sand being blown inland.

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