Sand Bay is a strip of coast in
North Somersetbordered to the south by Worlebury Hilland to the north by Middle Hope (commonly referred to as Sand Point). It lies convert|2|mi|km north of the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare, and across the Bristol Channelfrom South Wales. It is adjacent to the village of Kewstoke.
The north end of Sand Bay has become overgrown with spartina grass since the 1950s. This hardy grass was planted to support the banks of a tributary to the Bristol Channel further upstream than Sand Bay. Over the last 20 years the grass has rapidly taken over the north end of the beach and is now beginning to grow in isolated areas of the south end. [cite web|url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1001145.pdf|title=Bridgwater Bay|work=SSSI citation Sheet|publisher=English Nature|accessdate=2008-07-12] The grass also began to grow on the beach at Weston-super-Mare, but was removed by the local council.
In the 1980s part of the beach at Sand Bay was raised to prevent flooding by pumping sand from the Bristol Channel up onto the beach. [cite web|url=http://www.touruk.co.uk/north-somerset/kewstoke.htm|title=Kewstoke Tourist Information|publisher=Tour UK|accessdate=2008-07-12] The beach now has two levels, one at the original height near the sea and one bordering the adjacent road at the higher level. The upper beach level has now become covered in grass in many areas (not with the spartina grass – which is found at sea level).
Sea water quality
The beach is often littered with
tidal-borne material that washes up from the Bristol Channel, and — like all other beaches in North Somerset— it has never received a European Blue Flag. However, since 2005 and 2006 DEFRAhas rated the water quality as good. [cite web|url=http://www.somerset-accommodation.co.uk/somerset-beaches-lakes-fishing.html|title=Somerset Beaches|publisher=Somerset Accommodation|accessdate=2008-07-12]
The Marine Conservation Society has 'adopted' the beach and since 1999 has carried out four surveys of the beach annually. A 2004 survey reported that the beach had three times the national average quantity of sewage-related debris, with particularly high numbers of
cotton budsticks. [cite web|url=http://www.adoptabeach.org.uk/pages/page.php?cust_id=40|title=Sand Bay|publisher=Marine Conservation Society|accessdate=2008-07-12]
Pontinsholiday camp was opened in Sand Bay in 1947, remaining with the company until 1999. During its peak of popularity it had 300 chalets spread over convert|17|acre|ha. Today it is run by the Holybush Hotel group under the name of Sand Bay Holiday Village. With cabaret, tea dances, comedy and music, it remains a popular destination. In 2008, The company has rebranded to Martyn Leisure Breaks and is now knows as Sand Bay Leisure Resort. It is still owned by the same owner and the holiday breaks are the same but now with an uplifting more modern image.
There are several static caravan parks in the Sand Bay / Kewstoke area.
* [http://www.kewstoke.org/sandbay.htm Sand Bay Management Committee]
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