Training exercise at West Bay


WEST Bay will be the location of an Environment Agency training exercise next week on Tuesday, September 26th.

Visitors to West Bay will see up to 60 metres of temporary coastal defence barriers deployed in East Beach car park in preparation for any future tidal incidents.

The barriers – one of four types used by the agency – are large, self supporting, recyclable containers filled with aggregate and are covered with an impenetrable membrane which prevents water from getting through.

They are also fitted with a lid to prevent loss of fill material during over-topping and extreme weather conditions.

Dan Hooper, exercise organiser and engineer, said: “West Bay is a high risk flood area because of strong south westerly winds, high tides and close proximity of properties to the sea and nearby River Brit, so it is essential we are ‘incident-ready’ by carrying out exercises like this.

“These barriers are relatively new to the agency, so this exercise provides us with an opportunity to get to grips with them – how we open, connect and fill them – using a stockpile of beach materials already located on site.

“Sharpening our practical skills and knowledge means we can better protect homes, businesses and the environment quickly and safely should a major incident be expected in West Bay or anywhere along the Dorset coast.”

Partner agencies have been invited to observe the exercise, including representatives from the British Army, Dorset Local Resilience Forum – including Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, local authorities, Dorset Police and the Civil Contingencies Unit – and the West Bay harbour master.

Part of the car park will be cordoned off, but vehicle users will still be able to access the remainder of the car park and beach.

Bridport & Beaminster Reporter| Lottie is currently studying for an NCTJ Diploma in Journalism through a distance learning course and joined the paper in April 2014 on a freelance basis, becoming a staff reporter in January 2015. She is now the reporter for the View From Bridport and View From Beaminster papers.