Why sand is being moved at South Shields beach
Council chiefs have moved to allay fears that sand is being taken from an award-winning South Shields beach.
Concerned readers have contacted the Gazette in recent days, concerned that sand was being taken from the beach at Sandhaven.
The work going on along the foreshore being carried out by contractos Owen Pugh and council bosses say it is the annual preparations ahead of what they hope will be a busy summer for the town.
Machinery, which has included diggers and dumper trucks, have been on site for a number of weeks as workers have made their way along the coastline.
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety said: “Activity on the foreshore is actually the spring sand clearance and beach reinstatement.
“This happens every year ahead of the summer season and involves the mechanical clearance of sand which has built up over the winter months along promenades and pathways.
“The works ensure that our foreshore is looking at its very best in advance of welcoming thousands of visitors over the summer season.”
The work involves clearing the walkways of sand which has drifted over pathways during the winter months.
Work is also being undertaken to re-distribute it across the beach.
Last year, Sandhaven was awarded two coveted awards - for the 10th year running.
It received Blue Flag status and the Seaside award.
The accolades are given to beaches that meet the highest standards of cleanliness and safety and which provides visitors with high quality facilities.
The awards also indicate that Sandhaven has met the required European Union standards for water quality.
It was one of only 68 beaches across the country to be awarded the Blue Flag and one of 111 to be granted the Seaside Award.
Every year, the beaches of South Shields attracts five million visitors. In January, a multi-million pound upgrade of the coastline drew to a close.
The year-long project, carried out between the Littlehaven and Sandhaven beaches was paid for with a £1.5million Coastal Communities Fund and £529,000 from South Tyneside Council.
The work aimed to create a more attractive public space for visitors and included new hard and soft landscaping, seating between the South Pier and skatepark.
It also included improvements to public toilets and new access points from the promenade.