Benches which were destroyed at Burton Bradstock have been replaced thanks to a crowdfunder set up by a local photographer.

The two wheelchair friendly benches at Hive beach, which were installed in 2019, were severely damaged last November by Storm Ciaran.

Now they have been replaced after Neil Barnes of Bridport raised more than £5,000 to replace them thanks to overwhelming support from the community through an online crowdfunder.

The benches, which enable a wheelchair user to sit in the middle thanks to a cut-out, mean a lot to him because of his beloved daughter Lucy, who is a wheelchair user.

Neil first started fundraising for wheelchair accessible benches in west Dorset to make beaches easier to reach for his daughter and other wheelchair users.

He was delighted to see four benches installed in 2019 on both Hive Beach and in West Bay - but was dismayed to see the Hive Beach benches destroyed by Storm Ciaran.

Read More: Storm Ciaran destroys special benches at Hive Beach

He said: “I have to thank everybody who contributed, many of whom found out about it through the following I have built up with my business.

"The new benches are fixed to the ground so nobody can walk off with them and have cut-outs in the middle so wheelchair users can easily sit with their families."

The fundraiser raised more than £5,000 and sought the help of National Trust volunteers to help reinstall the benches.

Money left over from the fundraiser will be allocated to install two further benches somewhere else across west Dorset to give wheelchair users better access to the coastline.

Neil has worked tirelessly to ensure everyone can enjoy the coast.

As reported in the News, a specially-designed carrier was introduced at West Bay.

It means wheelchairs can be placed on to the carrier, then wheeled across the beach.

Read more: West Bay beach access improved with wheelchair carrier

Neil has asked followers on his Facebook account to make suggestions for a specific place where the benches would be welcomed.

He added: “I have a few ideas for places to put them, but it has to be a place where the benches are protected because the sea is a very unpredictable beast.”