We recently reported on some pleasing news for UK Surfers with the announcement that Boscombe artificial reef has been officially reopened again after years of problems and set backs. It is with a raised eyebrow and a tinge of disappointment, to then hear that almost at the exact same time Bournemouth Council were all patting themselves on the backs, the Regional Council in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand were announcing the partial removal of the Mount Maunganui reef.
The reef in New Zealand was constructed by the same company that built the Boscombe reef, and unfortunately both of the man-made structures have suffered many of the same problems and faults. The company ASR Ltd have since gone into liquidation and have left behind a string of problems and frustrated councillors and wave riders.
The Mt Maunganui Reef was intended to offer a dream wave for the users and cost a total of $1.5 million when it was constructed over a 3-year period from 2005. Very much like the reef at Boscombe, it never really lived up to expectations and suffered many problems such as leaking sand from the bags that formed the reef, boat damage and the removal of one of the bags.
What has resulted is an inadequate structure that failed to deliver the promised goods, and that in turn has created a large scour hole which has lead to treacherous currents in the area that are a danger to swimmers and has altered the local coastline.
This has to be of concern to the Surfers and beach users of the Dorset reef and the timing of this announcement couldn’t have been any worse. All eyes will be on the Mt Maunganui formation in the short-term as they start to deconstruct the reef and then we will have to wait to see if the Boscombe reef will fair any better following its recent repairs.
Below, is a video from 2008 when the reef had recently opened and to be honest it doesn’t look too shabby at all, unfortunately all reports suggest things have just got worse over the years. Please let us know if you have concerns for the Boscombe reef and if you think the local council are just wasting their time and money trying to save egg on their face? Do any man-made reef’s live up to expectations or should we just rely on Mother Nature to create our surf spots?