SAND from Wirral’s coastline is being used to shore up gritting supplies.
As temperatures plummeted across the borough last week, contractors removed build-ups of sand from the beach and foreshore at Leasowe and Wallasey.
The sand will be mixed in with salt for road gritting.
Wirral Council said the removal of sand from areas within the North Wirral Foreshore Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – “to enable access” – had been agreed with Natural England – but Leasowe Councillor Ian Lewis said this contradicted earlier assurances that no sand would be taken from the protected part of the site.
Cllr Lewis told the News: “I am disappointed that the council needs to use sand from a designated, protected part of our local environment.
“Is there really no sand available from anywhere else in the borough?
“I hope Natural England and, locally, the Friends of North Wirral Coastal Park, will be fully consulted by the council on how the area will be reinstated.”
Councils across the UK have been forced to look at alternatives to grit as supplies dwindled after last week’s heavy snowfall with one, Gloucestershire County Council, buying in 500 tonnes of tablet salt.
A spokesman for Wirral Council said: “Contractors have been removing windblown sand that has accumulated at Leasowe Bay and Wallasey Beach in areas outside the designated North Wirral Foreshore Site of Special Scientific Interest to mix with salt for road gritting.
“In addition to this, a small amount of sand will need to be removed from the SSSI to enable access.
“The council has discussed this with Natural England, who have agreed this course of action.” wirral news.co.uk