UK weather: British coasts suffer years of erosion in 'hours' of storms, says National Trust
Thursday 20 February 2014
Some of Britain’s most famous sections of coastline have suffered years of erosion and damage in just a few weeks, or in some cases hours, as a result of the winter storms, the National Trust has said.
The high winds and waves that have repeatedly battered the UK have left cliffs crumbling, beaches and sand dunes eroded, defences breached and shorelines and harbours damaged.
The storms have caused the kind of damage the Trust was expecting, but not for some years to come, and the organisation is warning that with more extreme weather predicted, the rate of change on the coasts will speed up.
At Birling Gap on the East Sussex coast, which marks the start of the white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters, the speed of erosion has been “breathtaking”, according to Jane Cecil, National Trust general manager for the South Downs.
“We’ve had about seven years of erosion in just two months. As a result, we are having to act now and take down the sun lounge and ice cream parlour. We have to think long term,” she said.
At Rhossili on the Gower Peninsula, constant rain and relentless stormy weather has washed away the main access path for the sandy beach, and it will need to be rebuilt so that it can be easily repaired and realigned to cope with future erosion.
Alan Kearsley-Evans, the Trust’s countryside manager for Gower, said: “We’d be planning for this happening but in 10 years’ time, not now.”
At Formby, on the Sefton coast in Merseyside, the storms have seen sand dunes eroding faster than predicted.
Kate Martin, area ranger at Formby, said: “In December we had two years of erosion in one afternoon and we’re working hard to look at how we manage this intense change at a much-loved stretch of the Sefton coast, as dunes are lost and access points become more difficult to manage.”
Other sites affected by the winter storms include Mullion Harbour in Cornwall, important wildlife sites at Blakeney, Norfolk, and Orford Ness, Suffolk, as well as Murlough national nature reserve in Northern Ireland, and Brownsea Island, Dorset.
Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Woodpecker and weasel: This is what the photographer has to say about the incredible picture
A million homes to be heated by river water energy
It's cowslips against honeysuckle in the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...