WORK to protect Christchurch’s coastline began yesterday.

The work, which will involve a local sand recycling exercise, forms part of Christchurch Borough Council’s annual programme of maintenance to coastal structures.

Excess ‘windfall material’ will be removed from the front of Mudeford Quay and Gundimore Beach and delivered to depleted bays at Friars Cliff and Avon Beach.

This exercise is expected to take around a week to complete.

Rock groyne repairs will also be carried out, starting at Avon Beach and finishing at Friars Cliff towards the end of June.

Advanced warning notices about the works have been delivered to households and businesses along the coastal strip between Gundimore promenade and Steamer Point.

Steve Woolard, team leader for Christchurch Borough Council’s coastal engineering team said: “This essential maintenance work to the coastal area of Christchurch is part of the council’s ongoing and long-term efforts to extend the life of the coastal defences and to ensure homes and businesses in these areas stay protected from any future coastal flooding or erosion.”

The borough was hit hard by inclement weather this year, with Christchurch and Mudeford Quays suffering from flooding as well as properties in Burton being hit by high water levels.

The operations form part of the ‘Hold the Line’ policy for the Christchurch coastline taken from the Poole and Christchurch Bays Shoreline Management Plan, which can be viewed online at Poole and Christchurch Bays Shoreline Management Plan was adopted in 2011.

It is a strategic document that sets out policies for the management of our coastline and our response to coastal flooding and erosion risk management over the next 20, 50 and 100 years.