The exposed area is being worked on
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A series of cages of rock, designed to protect Hengistbury Head in Dorset from coastal erosion, were exposed in Storm Eunice and as a result have alerted coastal maintenance teams to unexpected gaps in the protective barrier. Storm Eunice brought 'extremely strong winds of up to 70mph, and a danger to life warning to the county. The lower gabion baskets, that sit in front of the Iron Age settlement's Double Dykes, were exposed in the storm and are now showing an unexpected level of erosion.
A spokesperson for BCP Council confirmed that it was as a result of Storm Eunice that sand had been swept from around the protective cages, exposing more of the area than can normally be seen. Once exposed the coast teams could see that parts of the lower baskets have been eroded and need fixing, they added "We’re replacing 40 tonnes of gabion stone in around 50 baskets and fixing some of the baskets themselves."
The baskets are in place to protect the headland, which has records back to 43AD. Repairs are being carried out by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council's contractor, Avon Construction Ltd, and are expected to take two weeks.
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A spokesperson for BCP commented, "We are reconstructing some gabion baskets in this area to help protect and maintain the footpath from coastal erosion. The damage was discovered following Storm Eunice in February 2022.
15m Chain Link Fence And Round Post Set Even this fix however is only a short-term measure, with BCP's coastal management team commenting "This will help maintain the structural stability of the footpath in the short-term while we consider the options for more permanent coastal defences in the long-term."