Sunday, May 19, 2024

Councils and DOC unite to save sand dunes

Whanganui District Council and Castlecliff Coast Care are teaming up with Horizons Regional Council and the Department of Conservation to help restore sand dunes at Morgan Street beach.

A planting day will be held at the dunes this Sunday, 11 July, with 5,000 raumoa (spinifex) set to be planted.

Graham Pearson from Coast Care said the dunes have experienced a ‘blow-out’, leaving a large gap.

“A blow-out happens when the dune plants are destroyed, usually by human activity. The plants help to keep the dune in place, so once they’re gone there’s nothing to stop the sand from being blown around,” he said.

“This is a long-term issue that has grown so big that at times sand blocks Morgan Street.”

The council has rebuilt the dunes, using driftwood to hold them in place until they can be planted.

Coast Care holds three planting days a year, usually in the Rangiora Street beach area.

Whanganui District Council’s senior parks manager, Wendy Bainbridge, said Coast Care offered one of their planting days for the Morgan Street dunes.

The council is providing 4,000 plants and Coast Care the remaining 1,000 plants.

“These plants will cover the seaward dune and about 20m of loose sand inland, starting the process of stabilising the blow-out by their sand binding actions,” Ms Bainbridge said.

“The blow-out is a large area, at least 100m by 200m, so this is just the start of a long-term project.”

Volunteers are welcome to help with planting – if interested, meet at the Morgan Street car park at 10.30am on Sunday.

For more information contact Graham Pearson at

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