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Fin Whale carcass successfully removed from Hartland Quay

Whale Clean-up Hartland Beach

The Fin Whale carcass that washed up at Hartland Quay has now been successfully removed by contractors working alongside Council Officers. At over 10 metres long and weighing an estimated 10-15 tonnes the size of the whale alone presented significant problems. A further complication was that the area where the whale beached is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The SSSI for the Hartland area relates specifically to geology which made the taking of necessary tracked vehicles onto the foreshore more problematic.

The operation carried out on Friday went very smoothly with no damage to the beach as all vehicles were purposely fitted with rubber tyres or tracks.  Sand was also graded over the top of the rocks to provide an extra layer of protection where vehicles had to cross them. The operation involved the use of a tele handler for loading along with a swing shovel and two tractors and sealed trailers to transport the carcass to an approved handling site in Liskard.

Councillor James Morrish - Lead Member for Waste and Recycling said:

"This has been a great team effort between Officers, our contractors and the many agencies that we had to consult and who provided assistance or the necessary permissions. The environmental constraints posed a particular problem as did the rapidly decomposing body which had the potential to be a serious bio hazard to people and animals. However everyone has pulled together to deal with this in a really professional and efficient way and we were able to safeguard the protected beach area during the operations. I would also like to thank the public and particularly local businesses for their patience and understanding while we dealt with this unique situation and I am glad that we have been able to restore full access to this picturesque beach. Well done to everyone involved"

21 March 2017