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Dunwich cliffs   March 29  2009

 

Tide tables from the BBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dunwich Beach 2000

 

Fieldwork in May 2001

Dunwich Beach 2001  taken  Sunday 13 May 2001

Dunwich Beach Fieldwork & Sizewell 21 May 2001

Dunwich Beach Fieldwork & Thorpeness 24 May 2001

 

Dunwich Heath - the main areas of study in Spring 2002

 

Fieldwork in May 2002

Dunwich Beach -Wednesday and Thursday

Dunwich - tourism pressures

Dunwich - management practices

 

Fieldwork in May 2003

Beach photographs from Mon 20 May and Friday 23 May 2003

Photos from Mr Duncan of the tourist pressures

 

Fieldwork in May 2004 Sunday 16, Tuesday 25,  and Thursday 27 May

 

Fieldwork in May 2004

Dunwich Forest and Heath November 2004

 

Dunwich update April and May 2005

 

Dunwich beach and Dingle Marsh breach 29 Nov 2006

Dunwich beach and Dingle Marsh update 19 May 2007

 

Dunwich Heath May 19 2007

 

Dunwich cliffs March 29 2009

 

I had not undertaken a complete tour of Dunwich Cliffs for some time, so this walk was overdue. It began from Dunwich beach car park and followed the cliffs southwards past new beach defences, centre, and cliff slumping behind wooden fencing, right.

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Buried defence geotextile 'sausages' provide a firm walkway along the pea-shingle beach, centre, as the cliff slowly subsides. Note the two heights of fencing. My theory is that the beach is being bulldozed against the foot of the cliff (in the same way as it was defended by faggots of wood in medieval times) and drowning out the lower fence, necessitating a higher fence to keep people off the cliff.

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More views of the cliffs near the car park with, left and right, the geotextile 'sausages' and ,centre, the relationship between the cliff and house behind.

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A significant cliff fall overwhelms the fencing. This section of the cliffs is largely strata of fine sand.

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Slumping of cliff sections that have been stable for some time, hence the green vegetation - some of which may have come directly from the top of the cliff.

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The freshly-exposed cliffs find themselves very vulnerable to sub-aerial attack; in this case gullying.

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More slippages dump fine sand on the upper beach, left, and topsoil, centre, makes it to the foot of the cliff.

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Retreat has left isolated patches of greensward, as the foot of the cliff is removed by the sea and, centre, by gullying.

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Further south the turf cover is more complete, indicating this section of cliff has been erosionally quiet for some years. On the right is the colour-change from cream cliffs to gold towards the south.

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The deep gold cliffs have been colonised by sand martin's and considerably eroded in consequence. The photos on the right and in the centre show slumping.

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To the south of these access steps to the caravan park, centre, there is well-established vegetation of gorse, whilst to the north the marram grass is predominant.

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Parallel ridges in the beach are wholly attributable to beach maintenance vehicles, which casts doubt on any beach profiles that might be taken here. The cliff profiles, however, retain their veracity, and offer views of excellent clarity all the way to the southern end of the cliffs.

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Slumping of overburden, left, and a deep overhang of WW2 concrete, centre and right. The depth of material on top of the concrete is instructional of what 70 years can achieve!

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Bands of fine sand and shingle deposits weave an intricate pattern of lens-shaped strata.

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A good place to study free faces and scree slopes on cliff outcrops. The boulders of carbon-rich sand litter the foot of the slope.

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Marram grass has colonised the upper beach, which may have been artificially banked up at the foot of the cliff; certainly the submerged fencing seems to indicate that. The sunken telegraph pole, centre, is a trustworthy marker of recent years.

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At the Dunwich Heath property of the National Trust bracken clearing has been in evidence overlooking Minsmere, left, whilst a route from the beach to the cliff top has been closed due to cliff recession. The heath itself, right, is at the season when gorse is blooming, but the heather has died back from last season and new growth is some time away.

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The footpath back through the woods provides images that  contrast coniferous and deciduous tree cover.

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