Sahara mirage appears in football club car park

April 5, 2020 NEWS UPDATE:

We put your questions to Highways Service Manager for Network Operations at Dorset Council, David Clegg. These are his answers:


Why does the sand need to be removed?

“Swanage Beach is owned by Swanage Town Council. Over the course of the winter storm season it is not uncommon for sand from the beach to be blown and washed onto the aptly titled Shore Road. During normal conditions, the Town Council would arrange for a contractor to come and remove the sand to maintain safe access for vehicles and pedestrians. Due to the current restrictions, most small contractors have closed. To support the community (including the local businesses) Dorset Highways and Waste Partnership have offered their service to remove the sand from the highway. This is another great example of Dorset Council’s key workers collaborating to support its residents and business through this difficult period.”

What happens to the sand next please?

“As the sand has been in contact with waste and hydrocarbons (vehicle oil) that accumulate on the road surface, it now has to be treated as contaminated waste. It would not be safe to put the sand back on the beach as it would pose a risk to those who use it. As a temporary measure the sand has been taken to Swanage Football Club for storage. The Town Council will look to dispose of the material once they are able to do so safely.”

Sahara mirage appears in football club car park

A desert landscape of sand has been created in Swanage Town and Herston football club’s car park, as council workers try to quickly remove the sand that’s been blocking Swanage’s seafront road.

The sand, that was blown last weekend by easterly gales from the beach onto Shore Road, can’t be put back on the beach as it’s too polluted by vehicles and rubbish.

Sand removed from Shore Road
Andrew Birt

In an effort to stop the drains being blocked and to preserve the beach’s Blue Flag status, Dorset Council’s highway team has been moving it to the football club’s car park in Days Park. It’s believed to be a temporary measure, while Dorset Council works out what to do with it next.

Van stuck in sand
Philip Eades

The landlord of the Globe Pub in Swanage, Philip Eades, who took these pictures, said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw sand dunes in the car park. He said:

“The funniest thing was that they had entirely blocked in a parked van – how he’s going to get out, I don’t know!”

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