Scotland pristine white sand targeted by thieves in midnight raids

Posted In News, Sand Mining
Jun
6

Tiree

By Moira Kerr, The Scotsman.

It boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Britain, but it could soon be a case of paradise lost on the Isle of Tiree.

Tiree, called ‘the Hawaii of the north’ by windsurfers, is famed for its unspoiled white beaches, but an estate factor warns that sand has been disappearing by the truckload

For sneak thieves are carrying out midnight raids on the Hebridean island’s spectacular shores, stealing tonne upon tonne of sand.

A large chunk of Tiree and its magnificent white sand beaches falls under the ownership of the Duke of Argyll’s estate. And the thefts have escalated to such a point that Andrew Montgomery, Argyll Estates’ factor, has fired a warning shot to the culprits.

In a letter published in an island newsletter, he wrote: “Extraction is still taking place, and indeed over the Christmas period dumper trailers were loaded at Barrapol overnight and their loads of sand subsequently transferred to one tonne bags at the Crossapol camp.

“It seems the idea here was apparently to make it appear that the sand had been imported legitimately from a mainland source.

“I am aware of the culprits and of those using this material, and if you are intent on carrying on in the same manner, I will have no option but to prosecute without warning.

“The continuing close interest of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH] and Argyll and Bute Council planning enforcement officers is forever present. However, not withstanding this, all commercial users of sand and gravel on Tiree have been warned in writing that commercial extraction is illegal, and that further instances of unlawful sand/mineral extraction for commercial building and/or building supply purposes will amount to common theft. I am sure the majority of islanders understand the need for due diligence on my part.”

Island crofters have a legal right to take small scale quantities of sand for use on their land, but Ian Gillies, Argyll Estates representative on Tiree, said yesterday: “The minimal extraction we don’t have an issue with; it is the commercial extraction that we do have a problem with, along with the planning department and Scottish Natural Heritage.”

Known by windsurfers as the “Hawaii of the north” Tiree is so low-lying it is often referred to as the land beneath the waves.

SNH officer Ross Lilley said: “SNH is interested, but it’s not necessarily about the immediate cause and effect, it’s the long term potential threat on the coastland.

“There is a long-term trend of sea levels rising, you get climate change and the coastline is vulnerable. It’s something the community has to protect in the long term, because they are vulnerable to further erosion.”

He added: “We would like to work with the community to find a way of making sure that they get some source of sand and gravel, but in such a way that it doesn’t cause long-term erosion to the coastline.

“We did commission a study by the British Geological Survey about where there were mineral losses on the island and where there could be a quarry. That study is still available, it’s really a planning issue.”

A Tiree builder, who did not want to be named, said: “We bring all our sand and gravel in from Oban and it’s a bit unfair if some people are paying for it and some aren’t.”

He said there were a number of commercial builders on Tiree but was unaware of who was taking sand from the beaches.

He added: “Argyll Estates had permitted it to be taken from certain beaches, but then SNH got involved, it was all to do with coastal erosion.

“We as builders got a letter from Argyll Estates, saying we weren’t to use sand and gravel from the beaches, and we have adhered to this.”

Original Article

Tags: ,

Sand Mining

You can make a difference and help save our beaches

Learn simple things that you can do to help protect beaches starting with simply educating others about the beach thereby helping us celebrate the beauty of the world’s beaches.


Join our campaign!

Sign the petition to end global sand mining.


  • Sand Mining Resources

  • More / Sand Mining

    Against the grain: anger grows at spike in ‘sand graffiti’ by tourists in Japan

    May 20th, 2019

    Local authorities in Japan have drawn a line in the sand amid anger over a rise in graffiti by foreign tourists disfiguring its pristine coastal dunes.

    Read More

    Rising demand for sand calls for resource governance, UN

    May 8th, 2019

    With the global demand for sand and gravel standing at 40 to 50 billion tonnes per year, a new report by UN Environment reveals that aggregate extraction in rivers has led to pollution, flooding, lowering of water aquifers and worsening drought occurrence.

    Read More

    South Florida beach town getting emergency sand infusion

    April 24th, 2019

    Sand-starved Dania Beach is getting an emergency infusion of that gritty stuff that gets washed away every year. Sand by the truckload is being brought in and deposited on the northern half of the beach near the pier.

    Read More

    Coastal Conservation Plan Sparks Fight Over Sand

    March 26th, 2019

    Beach communities that rely on dredging to replenish protective dunes object to expanded federal protections. Environmental advocates are pushing back with warnings about the possible ecological damage from beach replenishment projects that they call sand mining.

    Read More

    Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

    February 27th, 2019

    After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself.

    Read More

    Private companies can no longer mine beaches in India

    February 21st, 2019

    Private beach sand miners can no longer mine the coasts of India, as per a Gazette notification by the Union Ministry of Mines which has just been made public.

    Read More

    Sand mining in a dune system, Chile

    February 19th, 2019

    This is a normal situation here in this side of the world: when the legal go beyond the logic…

    Read More

    Sand from glacial melt could be Greenland’s economic salvation?

    February 12th, 2019

    As climate change melts Greenland’s glaciers and deposits more river sediment on its shores, an international group of researchers has identified one unforeseen economic opportunity for the Arctic nation: exporting excess sand and gravel abroad, where raw materials for infrastructure are in high demand.

    Read More

    Archive / Sand Mining