Work is due to start this month to remove the spartina grass from Hoylake beach. Having been previously sprayed and even strimmed, it has been decided that the grass is to be dug up on Monday, 22nd November. Contractors are to use a mechanical digger to remove the spartina grass; it will then be dumped onto the grass next to the lifeboat station to be sifted in order to separate the sand from the grass. The sand will subsequently be moved back onto the beach and the grass removed and destroyed.
The Coastal Scene email newsletter published by the council also reports that the general public is also being invited to help dig up the smaller clumps of grass. The Globe reports that the date for this “public dig” is Sunday, 28th November. If you wish to volunteer to help then contact Josef Hanik, senior ranger for Wirral coast, on (0151) 688 5488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
An agreement with Natural England provides consent for raking, spraying, digging and vegetation removal for the next 5 years. Hoylake beach is a of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the birdlife that inhabits the shore.
The grass – pictured above in September 2009 – has seemed to have really taken hold over the last 12-24 months for whatever reason and I suppose it could be argued that attempting to fight it could be a losing battle in the long term? What do you think? Will you be slipping your wellies on and grabbing the nearest spade on the 28th?