GETTING boats in and out of Lyme Regis harbour will be easier after silt is scooped away from the entrance later this month.
Over the winter, masses of fine sand and stone particles have been blown by easterly winds along the shoreline, picked up by sea currents, and deposited in the harbour mouth.
To reverse this process, around 2,000 cubic metres of material will be dredged from Monday, 29 March to Thursday, 1 April, for about two hours either side of low tide.
That’s roughly from around 10am to 3pm, though times could vary by up to 30 minutes, depending on tides.
Two tractor excavators will dredge; three dump trucks will transfer what’s removed to the beach beyond Lucy’s Jetty, where tides will disperse it naturally.
West Dorset District Council’s harbour master Grahame Forshaw and his assistant will help direct boats in and out of the harbour while work takes place.
Mr Forshaw said: “Lyme Regis is a drying harbour. This means that at low tide, the harbour is completely dry.
“So these works will allow local boat owners to access the sea for longer.
“We will have to regulate access quite carefully while the work is being carried out, so we thank people for their patience in advance.
“The sand has been tested to make sure that it is clean and is not contaminated.”
District council leader Robert Gould said: “We want to take advantage of the low tides before the Easter bank holiday, when we are expecting large numbers of visitors to Lyme Regis.
“If we did not take the sand away now, boats would not be able to get to Victoria Pier at certain times of day.
“We apologise for any inconvenience.”
For more information please contact the harbour master on 07870-240645.