Lennox Head’s Ross Richardson (left) and Brian Smith found a practical solution to the Lennox beach dune erosion problem with the installation of specialised fencing.
Lennox Head’s Ross Richardson (left) and Brian Smith found a practical solution to the Lennox beach dune erosion problem with the installation of specialised fencing. Jay Cronan

Coast care group fighting erosion

GREY power is putting some muscle into the fight against coastal erosion at Lennox Head.

The Residents Association Coast Care Group is comprised of ageing residents who are building dune accretion fences along the sea front.

As a result of their eff-orts, hundreds of metres of dunes can withstand most of the harsh elements, with the exception of large storm events that bring with them huge seas.

“It's not going to stop erosion ad infinitum,” said group member Ross Richardson.

But the fences will disperse the energy of the waves and prevent excessive losses of the dunes to big tides, he said.

The fences gather sand blown down the beach by north-easterly winds. This builds up on both sides of the fence, which is eventually buried.

The new dune is planted with tough coastal grasses such as spinifex, to make it hardier, and another, more easterly fence is erected.

The Coast Care Group consists of 15 or so men, some in their 80s, who have some practical background, such as carpentry or fencing.

Mr Richardson, 74, was born on a farm.

“You get a lot of practical experience growing up on a farm, and we have a stack of people like that,” he said.

Brian Smith, 77, was a woodwork teacher and planted most of the trees at the 4WD track, which are now 15 metres tall.

Other projects they have undertaken recently include building a wallaby-proof fence to protect young trees at Boulder Beach. They are also in the process of building and installing picnic tables along the foreshore.

The coast carers operate under the auspices of the Landcare Council and work closely with other like-minded groups. Much of their materials – pine posts, pig wire and shade cloth – come from Landcare and Ballina council.

The group has a ‘valued symbiotic' relationship with the council, said James Brideson, its acting manager of open spaces and reserves.



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