Shingle cause of river mouth closure

MADAM - Those who have wandered near the mouth of the Sid this week will have seen that it has been blocked by a shingle bank as a result of an easterly swell on the spring tide late last week.

MADAM - Those who have wandered near the mouth of the Sid this week will have seen that it has been blocked by a shingle bank as a result of an easterly swell on the spring tide late last week.

Such closures of the river mouth used to be quite normal, but it is the first I have noticed for more than two years - since the heavy summer rain in July 2007.

The shingle bank tends to grow in easterly winds and to be penetrated when the river runs high. Old Sidmouth guide books and papers published in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association describe the river's behaviour during various periods in the past two hundred years or so, and they suggest that an opening of more than two years is unusual, if not unprecedented.

If anyone has evidence that the river mouth has closed in the past two years, or can recall previous lengthy periods of opening, I should very much like to hear from them.


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Brian Golding

Egypt, Millford Road

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