View looking towards the lighthouse at Whiteford on the Gower Peninsula showing rock strewn beach with patches of sand

The photographs in this post illustrate the way that vast quantities of wind- and wave-borne sand at Whiteford Sands on the Gower Peninsula move around the shore over time. I have taken one fixed object, a piece of ancient timber with an unmistakable shape that projects from the early to post Holocene deposits of peat and clay, and taken shots of it on every visit to the beach over the past ten years or so. The following images show how the sand level changes periodically to reveal or conceal the underlying layers with the surface scattering of rocks that were dumped by the melting ice during the last glacial event. Beaches like Whiteford are incredibly dynamic. Click on any image in the gallery below to view as a slideshow in chronological order.


7 Replies to “The Rise and Fall of Whiteford Sands”

  1. Wow, that’s a very interesting record, Jessica! Quite unique, I would think. Proof that a beach is a dynamic ‘being’, never static from one day to the next.


  2. Thank you, Aidy. I always wonder whether that piece of wood will still be there each time I visit because, despite the apparent remoteness of the location, a lot of four wheel drive vehicles pass along that way. Cockle fishermen drive across the beach from places like Llanrhiddian, and bomb disposal squads regularly undertake criss-cross searches for unexploded munitions from the Second World War when it was used as a practice firing range.


  3. Thanks, Jo. I hope that my pictures constitute a record of the changes taking place for the present. One of the things I love about the seashore is the way it is always different: from tide to tide, day to day, throughout the seasons, and through deep time.

    Liked by 1 person

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