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Managing Coastal Erosion

Submitted by Ben Smith 7th November 2011 14:06


A family farm and B&B business in a low lying coastal area, with experience of flooding has been planning for future impacts by investigating breaching their sea wall to create new habitat and landscape and enhances their existing tourist business.

The land has historically been subject to coastal change, including the great flood of 1953 and a previous inundation in 1874. Agricultural land is less likely to receive government-backed protection than settlements. At the same time, officially protected habitats such as the intertidal zone are also under threat from coastal change.

Key messages and learning outcomes

Recognising that change has happened in the past and will accelerate under climate change provides the context for new opportunities and managing your response.

Adaptation outcomes

The farm owners have investigated the potential changes and the opportunities for managed realignment, and held initial discussions with the Environment Agency and Natural England. They recognise the planning issues and timescales involved and anticipate this as a programme of work over the next 3–5 years

The owners are redeveloping additional barns as tourist accommodation, with opportunities to benefit from existing birdwatching and walks in the area, as well as from new landscape and habitat features resulting from any planned coastal realignment and possible new developments, such as moorings.

Enabling factors

The farm and tourism enterprise is a family-run business, with a strong commitment to its long term sustainability and a recognition that change is a fact of life in this coastal area.

The Parish Council and local district councillors were fully supportive of the barn development.

Natural England and the Managing Coastal Change Project have also been very helpful.


    Negotiating the planning system will involve considerable work, especially the complexities of diverting the current footpath along the sea wall to a route to be agreed by all parties. 


      Richard and Hazel Wrinch: 01473 787 318