Vandals have targeted the dune rehabilitation project at Glencairn Beach.
A section of the wind net on the northern dune had been cut, said mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews.
“This created a gap, and resulted in a weak spot in the management strategy, which reduced the effectiveness of the dune rehabilitation and the mitigation of wind-blown sand.”
Had the City not acted swiftly to repair the net, windblown sand would have smothered vegetation still taking root and swamped the nearby road and railway line, he said.
Such vandalism could cause the project to fail, leading to wasteful expenditure, he said.
The perpetrators remain unidentified, but Mr Andrews suspects they are from the area
“This is not a formal access point to the beach as there is no legal railway crossing, making it dangerous for those doing so. In fact, access to Glencairn Beach via this route is illegal and all public access across the railway line must go via the formal access point at the car park.”
Anyone found cutting or moving the wind nets would be reported to the police for investigation and prosecution, he said.
The City wants to reduce the volume of sand at Glencairn Beach, creating a profile more typical of fore dunes and revegetating these areas.
“We have installed several rows of wind nets from north to south, breaking the wind speed, mitigating the movement of sand, and reducing the accumulation of sand on adjacent infrastructure.”
Ward councillor Simon Liell-Cock said the City had done an excellent job in stabilising the dunes and returning them to a more natural state, one that had originally been disrupted by the building of the adjacent road and railway line.
Extensive studies and practical experience had guided the dune project, he said, condemning any attempts to disrupt it.
“It is pure selfish behaviour to undermine and dismantle what has been accomplished.“