VOLUNTEERS who have worked tirelessly to transform the sand dunes on Redcar beach are going back to the drawing board for a long-term solution.

The Friends of Redcar (FRED) has spent several years tiding up the dunes next to Majuba car park in the town but the tidal surge that swept along the North Sea coastline, earlier this month, has undone the majority of their good work.

Volunteers had collected more than 100 unwanted Christmas trees to plant in the dunes to help counteract erosion but the battering that the Redcar coastline took has left bricks and masonry exposed on the beach – creating a dangerous environment on the beach.

Councillor Carl Quartermain, who is also the Chairman of FRED, said: “Coatham dunes in Redcar have been transformed and in part completely disappeared. The artificial underbelly of brick and building debris is worse than ever.”

The Redcar and Cleveland borough councillor has called on the local authority to work alongside the Environment Agency and local businesses to help deliver a lasting solution to the problem.

He said: “We have had a productive meeting with local business who may hold the solution to our seriously depleted dunes.”

As a result of the damage caused by the tidal surge huge amounts of sand has been swept away exposing brickwork and masonry that was buried to create the dunes, he added.

Following the tidal surge, Redcar Lifeboat operations manager Dave Cocks said the impact of the storm had left Coatham’s dunes “very unstable”.

The group’s use of unwanted Christmas trees was all part of its plan to protect the area from erosion.

He said: “The trees are dug in deep and act as a sand trap in high winds to naturally bulk up the size of the dunes. Repeating this process over time will hopefully be effective. They also protect barren areas allowing those seeding Lyme and Marram grasses a better chance to establish.”

The call to ‘Save the Dunes’ surfaced over the past few years due to natural depletion, as well as anti-social behaviour including the use of quad bikes, littering, smashed glass, substance abuse and dog fouling.

FRED organises regular littering picking events to ensure that the beach and dunes are clean and tidy for visitors to explore and enjoy.

Cllr Quartermain added: “The Coatham Dunes Restoration Project will be an ongoing concern for FRED who will look to continue this initiative annually whilst looking at a variety of ways to grow this project, all whilst ensuring the dunes remain accessible and are increasingly enjoyed by all.”