Environmental Stewardship

Tarmac assists with Lincshore beach replenishment


“We welcomed the opportunity to provide a substantial volume of well-graded marine dredged sand for the Environment Agency’s Lincshore scheme in 2022. It makes great sense to use locally sourced marine sands to replenish these coastal areas.”

Tarmac’s marine director, Gordon Tuck

As well as supplying marine sand and gravel for all forms of construction, Tarmac Marine helps to enable effective coastal defence projects by supplying sand and gravel dredged from Tarmac’s eighteen UK licensed extraction areas. Our licensed extraction areas have consent to dredge after a rigorous environmental assessment and consultation processes to demonstrate that dredging activity will not result in unacceptable environmental impacts.

After extraction and transport from the licensed area using a purpose-built dredger, the sand and gravel is pumped ashore to restore beaches, build coastal flood defences and protect low-lying land from coastal erosion and flooding by the sea. Sand and gravel from the seabed are commonly well suited for beach replenishment because it matches beach sediments in composition, colour and grading.

In 2022, as part of our partnership with specialist dredging contractor Van Oord, Tarmac supplied 450,000 tonnes of sand for coastal defence work along the Lincolnshire coast, sourced from a Tarmac marine licensed area some six miles offshore.

By using local offshore sources of sand and gravel for coastal defence work, large tonnages can be delivered rapidly by ship to replenish eroded stretches of coastline with minimal disturbance to local communities, providing environmental benefits, such as reducing trucks on local roads and protecting coastal communities.

Such schemes, typically commissioned by local authorities and Environment Agencies, improve resilience to sea level rise as part of the UK’s adaptation to the effects of our changing climate. The Lincshore project will help to protect thousands of homes and hectares of land from coastal flooding.

Over the last eight years, Tarmac has supplied hundreds of thousands of tonnes of marine sand and gravel for other key coastal defence projects, including at Bacton in North East Norfolk, and Clacton and Jaywick in Essex.