Two days of walking on our local beaches here in Norfolk has really made us worry about the state of our sea defences.
Our coast is made up of sand with dunes which leaves large stretches vulnerable and at risk of erosion – and the erosion seems to be happening more and more often and at quite a speed. Cliffs crumble away and can be dangerous, often collapsing without warning.
Yesterday we walked from a small village called Walcott to another village called Happisburgh – out along the beach and back along the cliff. The two and a half mile stretch of beach is something we’ve never done.
This is what most of it looks like. There’s quite a high cliff just here.
There are lots of groynes. Some running into the sea and others (as above) running in lines parallel with the sea. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, after a few years the metal bolts start to become loose, the wood rots and bits break away.
Here is Happisburgh church just peeking over the cliff (see photo below). It’s getting closer and closer to the edge. Great chunks of land and homes have fallen into the sea. The static caravan park between the church and the edge of the cliff has closed and the site has almost been cleared.
This all sounds a bit grim, which is unlike me, but it’s how it is. The photo below shows an old pillbox – once a cliff top lookout during wartime now resting on the beach quite a way from the current cliff edge.
On a positive note the view from the path on the way back is still a nice view – with the church in the distance. And the farmer is still watering the crops. We had to do a strategic run to avoid the spray!
We will continue to walk the coastal path here and monitor any changes.
Today we did a longer walk along the beach from Waxham to Eccles on sea. Sea Palling beach is between the two and is well protected by man made reefs put in place in 1995. As a result the small village is protected and visitors flock here to enjoy the wonderful sandy beach.
Seals love this place too. However they are usually born during the winter so this youngster, in the photo below, was a surprise to us.
The line of reefs can be seen in the photo. As you can see, the beach has some rocky groynes which will hopefully last a little bit longer than the wooden/metal structures.
A few miles on and we reached the lifeboat ramp at Eccles and our turn around point.
There are several newer looking groynes here in amongst some rusting old defences.
I think it would be far better if more reefs were built. I know it means bringing in lots of rock but this seems to be working as our first line of defence.