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Happisburgh 18 April 2009

 

North Norfolk and Happisburgh Index

 

www.happisburgh.org.uk

 

 

The destruction of the concrete lifeboat slipway at Happisburgh continues.

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To the north the beach widens behind the retaining revetments, that are in better condition here than to the south of this position.

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Although not the highest of high tides, there was a fair sea running and the waves crashed through the revetments.

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From beach level the concrete slipway is now sheltered by a new line of rip-rap.

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The rip-rap barrier is more substantial than the first attempt here, and appears to be protecting the cliff base a little better.

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The remaining properties in Beach Road look out over the beach that will claim them in the next several years. Cliff House, the old tea rooms, has about a foot or so of land to lose before the corner of the house is affected.

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The steel pipes continue to do a good job in defending the knuckle of coastline they themselves helped to create.

 

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Between the pipes and the small promontory there is now a widening stretch of sandy beach. When this kink is eliminated a whole new range of inputs will determine the new shape of the coast southwards.

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On a chilly days with fresh onshore winds, spume drifts over the beach just short of high tide.

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The new development I have found this trip is the installation of rip-rap to cover the eroding steelwork at the northern end of the Cart Gap sea wall.

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The said sea wall gazes northwards across the embayments to Happisburgh.

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Freshly-completed, the ramp for the Happisburgh lifeboat at Cart Gap, left, and further shots of the massive sea walls to the south and  the offshore rock reefs of Sea Palling.

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Curiously, rip-rap has been added to a stretch of beach to the south of Cart Gap and just the first reef  ...

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... although the sand seems to be encroaching on the boulders, and the beach access from the sea wall!

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The most northerly rock reef has built up a sandy beach to the shore, even at most high tides.

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There is no shortage of drama as the waves crash through the gaps between the reefs.

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Behind the defences, and colonising the widening beach, are embryo dunes and marram grass.

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An overview of the rock reef and the beach behind, from the vantage point of the dune ridge.

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Two very different angles on the same stretch of coast; the concrete-filled steel groynes, reinforced by boulders, under wave attack and in the thick of the action and ... the fragile sand dune ridge - all that separates the Norfolk Broads from the North Sea.

 

 

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The sun came out briefly to view the rip-rap defences at the northern end of the Cart Gap defences. The steel pilings had been completely outflanked here and the sea wall was in imminent danger of substantial damage.

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To defend this elbow of sea wall I foresee many more loads of rip-rap being deposited into the maws of the sandy foreshore. Will this be the first location of a 'stalk' of land sticking out into the North Sea?

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The line of rip-rap is clearly intended just to defend the vulnerable flank of the sea wall; but the variation in erosion-rates may well produce some interesting and hopefully, embarrassing, results!

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A ramp, most possibly for the rip-rap installers, cuts the cliff just to the no0rth of the stones. A new crop is prepare, centre, and the process of gouging out embayments in the cliff face continues, right.

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Sea fog reduced visibility and softened these views northwards towards Happisburgh. The cliff-top marker of the pill box looks closer than last time! Notable also is the wide beach on the right, even at high tide.

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Returning to the area of Beach Road the rip-rap protection for the promontory is clear, left and right, as is the last vestiges of a previous rain crop hanging on the edge of the cliff-top.

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Two more shots of the promontory and its protectors, rip-rap and steel poles.

 

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The clay layer, across which basement  drains the runoff from the overlying crag, still stands proud of the beach, its moisture encouraging some vegetation to colonise the base of the slope.

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Norfolk Happisburgh Beach Road Cart Gap Sea Palling coast erosion defences neglect revetments rip rap groynes beaches rock reefs sand dunes marram grass lighthouse sea walls lifeboat station

 

North Norfolk and Happisburgh Index

 

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