Constant wear and tear along the landward edge of a beach should be prevented. This can be achieved by access control in the most vulnerable places such as wetlands, stream mouths and steeper banks, and by edge reinforcement where access is permitted. Low, rockwork walls or timber edges help to define the edge and stabilize it.
Rockwork walls can vary from the use of locally obtained natural boulders laid fairly roughly to maintain a natural character, to well-laid drystone or mortared construction in keeping with a more rural or urban character, and where use is heavy. Ramps and steps should be provided along obvious access lines from parking areas to the water’s edge. The rockwork can act as seating, places to dry towels and bathing costumes, can give some shelter from wind, and can provide warm areas for sunbathing.
Edges might also consist of stout baulks of timber laid end to end, possibly built up in horizontal layers to form low walls. Higher walls can be made by vertical round timber driven in side by side and topped with horizontal sawn planks. If the wall is taller than 1m (3ft), protective handrails are probably needed (see Chapter 9).