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Drilling activities at Freshwater West beach

Updated: Apr 24

27 January 2023. Drilling works are currently being carried out as part of the construction works for the Greenlink Interconnector which will connect the electricity transmission networks of Great Britain and Ireland.

The use of drilling ensures that the Broomhill Burrows Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) (dunes immediately to the north of Freshwater West beach) remain untouched by the construction of the interconnector. In total there are two drills, one for each electricity cable, running below the dunes and the beach beyond and emerging below the low water mark. Ducts will be pulled/pushed into the drill holes ready for the cables to be pulled through.

A biodegradable, blue-coloured clay water mix (95% water) is used to support drilling operations and due to fractured rocks on the drilling route some of this is rising to the surface of the intertidal area of the beach. The liquid is not considered hazardous and poses no risk to beach users, marine life or the sensitive marine habitats in the area. Natural Resources Wales are aware of the current situation, and construction works are proceeding using environmental and health and safety best practice to support the ongoing work. The health and safety measures taken will include restricted access to small areas of the beach where the clay water mix is coming to the beach surface. Working with the local tide will ensure that the clay water mix does not remain on the beach for long periods and no risk to marine life or the local marine habitat will result from the release of the clay water mix.

Any visible clay water mix on the beach will be temporary and drilling operations are currently scheduled to complete around the end of February.

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