Letter: Hold back the sea

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The sea defences for Salthouse, the shingle bank, should be strengthened, not abandoned ("That sinking feeling", 31 August).

The proposed clay bank defence, well inland from the shingle one, is a high-risk, high-cost and probably a highly ineffective scheme. The beach will be washed away. A clay bank on wet marsh will surely be undermined. Clay slides easily. Once the shingle bank disintegrates, ferocious seas will assault the clay.

Rather, bring in massive rocks by barge on high tides (as has been done elsewhere). Dig them in as footings to the shingle bank, pile a layer or two on top and in front. Drag an earth bank up from behind the shingle bank to lean against it.

Preserve the coast as it is. Sea defences can work.

RALPH BERNEY

Salthouse, Norfolk

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