ABANDONED TO THE WAVES, OLD SEA DEFENCES NEAR BRACKLESHAM BAY
22 January 2017
Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex
For centuries the coast from Bracklesham Bay to Selsey Bill has suffered from extensive flooding during winter storms. Various efforts have been made to stop the flooding but none of them have held back the sea. In 2013 one of the biggest coastal realignments in the UK took place when the Environment Agency removed a section of the sea defences to allow intertidal flooding on storm tides beyond the beach and onto the neighbouring farmland. It's created a wonderful habitat for wildlife and eased the flooding risk for local residents.
The flood engineering works have had a dramatic effect on the nearby coastline with vast areas of sand and beach being swept away – leaving the old groynes stranded high above the sand. These dramatic structures are temporary – every storm washes more of them away. By summer 2018 only one of the old sea defences at Medmerry remained.
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