Visitors travel 4,500 miles to see Herne Bay’s coastline

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A top-level delegation from Guyana has travelled 4,500 miles to see Herne Bay’s current sea defences project for themselves.

The group from South America, which included members of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Guyanese Forestry Commission and a timber supplier, visited the north Kent coast to meet city council engineers and see their Greenheart timber being used to protect the coastline.

The timber was chosen because it stands up to the ravages of the sea. It is strong, lasts a long time, is resistant to marine borers like shipworms, which eat wood, and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which means it comes from a forest which has been managed responsibly.

Greenheart timber is being used on the sea defences project

The council’s Head of Engineering, Liam Wooltorton, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the group to Herne Bay and show them how we are using their timber.

“Not only is the timber one of the strongest commercially available, but by us buying sustainably-sourced timber like this, we create enormous social and economic benefits for a developing country like Guyana.”

While Herne Bay is home to the pier, King’s Hall and the Reculver Towers, Guyana boasts one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls, Kaieteur Falls, is the only English-speaking nation in South America and boasts one of the world’s largest gold mines.

The £2.8 million city council sea defence project, which got underway in September, involves the construction of 24 new timber groynes – 13 at the King’s Hall and 11 at Lane End – seawall and promenade repairs, handrail refurbishment, beach recycling and a small section of rock protection between the King’s Hall pumping station and Herne Bay Sailing Club. Work will continue until spring 2019.

Chairman of the council’s Community Committee, Cllr Neil Baker, said: “We were honoured to have hosted our guests and are really proud they chose to come all this way to see us.

“Our engineers are the country’s leading experts in coastal engineering and are in enormous demand across the south east. The money they generate from working on behalf of the East Kent Engineering Partnership is vital as it can be used to support other services and projects across our district.”

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