Anger at Christmas tree burials in Porthtowan sand dunes
A Porthtowan community group has hit out at Cornwall Council’s “crack-pot idea” to bury old Christmas trees in the village’s sand dunes.
The Porthtowan Dunes Group, made up of local business owners and residents, has spoken out against this Saturday’s tree burying event.
It is hoped that the scheme will help to secure Porthtowan’s eroding sand dunes and provide an important habitat for wildlife once marram grass seeds are planted in the spring.
But the pressure group has said it has received no evidence to back the council’s claims and fears the scheme will be another in a long line of costly prevention plans which haven’t worked.
In a letter to Cornwall Councillor Joyce Duffin and community network manager Mark O Brien, the group said: “We believe the Council are in danger of simply replicating the damage done over the past years with ill thought out schemes which plainly failed to solve the problem.
“Continuing with the same piecemeal, short term approach of tinkering with different bits of the sand pile is simply firefighting”
Group member and business owner, Chris Smith, is also concerned that the burying scheme is masking the real problem of a lack of sand on the beach.
He said: “We have toyed with this issue for years and we have seen the sand dunes get out of control, consequently there is no sand on the beach as it has spread on to the green and the road.”
Due to a European directive, much of the sand blown on to the nearby green and road has to been taken to a landfill site rather than being returned to the beach.
“The beach is literally being carried away and dumped inland, and this tree burying idea is just another crack-pot idea from the council.” Mr Smith added.
Instead the group has suggested that resources should be invested in to putting sand back on the beach before the creation of a proven sand defence.
But Cornwall Councillor Joyce Duffin is still backing the project and believes that it is widely supported and valuable to the village.
The councillor has said that the use of natural materials is a sustainable way to prevent sand movement and the burial of the trees will be the first step in the process to secure the dunes.
She added: “The whole idea of stabilising the sand is to prevent it from blowing on to the road. If we don’t do it now we will have to wait a year.
“That’s the way the sand wants to blow so by putting the Christmas trees on the dunes we are trying to prevent it.”
The Christmas tree burial event will take place at Porthtowan beach on Saturday between 10am and 3pm.