Home

Gallery

GA

SLN

Fieldwork

Langham

Links

 

The Geography Department

 

 

 

 

 

Happisburgh  24 July 2008

 

North Norfolk and Happisburgh Index

 

 

www.happisburgh.org.uk

I plotted the cliff-top with my GPS, reading to within 17-20 feet. The plots have flags, and the clay outliers on the beach are shown by dragon's teeth.

 

Although by no means survey-accurate, this gives a startling indication of coastal change at Happisburgh.

HappisburghRetreat08.jpg

 

 

 

 

Arrival at Happisburgh is met by a car park no longer charged-for, and then on to the wrecked lifeboat ramp and the views north and south. There seems to be little change, but there always is ...

1024-DSC05200.jpg

1024-DSC05201.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05202.jpg

 

The tide is just over an hour from the full, as is clearly only going to be of modest height. The cliffs show signs of some respite, with even some growth of vegetation in places.

1024-DSC05205.jpg

 

 

 

685-DSC05203.jpg

1024-DSC05204.jpg

 

To the north the beach shows a good stretch of sand inshore of the relatively complete revetments, with groynes well-filled in a north-south drift.

1024-DSC05206.jpg

1024-DSC05207.jpg

1024-DSC05209.jpg

 

 

 

 

Taken from the track alongside the large terraced houses, the beach is dominated by the low clay platform kept wet from land drainage .. and the oncoming tide giving the last revetment scraps a pounding!

1024-DSC05211.jpg

1024-DSC05212.jpg

1024-DSC05213.jpg

 

 

 

 

Views from the track, both landward and over the cliff that is eating into the houses' gardens.

685-DSC05215.jpg

685-DSC05214.jpg

685-DSC05216.jpg

 

 

 

 

Beyond the houses southwards, the cliff is green! Erosion from the seaward has abated here, despite the new stretch of beach behind the rip rap and steel pipes.

1024-DSC05218.jpg

685-DSC05217.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05219.jpg

 

The defences of rip rap around the kink in the coast are still largely intact, so it is sub-aerial processes, centre, that  have been more active in the recent months.

1024-DSC05222.jpg

685-DSC05220.jpg

1024-DSC05223.jpg

 

 

 

 

Cliffs of sand are often subverted from below and develop vertical lines of  slumping, right, as well as the rotational slumps, left.

685-DSC05224.jpg

685-DSC05221.jpg

685-DSC05226.jpg

 

 

 

 

The bay to the south of Happisburgh has wide sands available for holidaymakers, but no access, save the long walk from Cart Gap.

1024-DSC05225.jpg

1024-DSC05227.jpg

1024-DSC05230.jpg

 

 

 

A marker for erosion is the loss of current crops over the cliff. Rows that suddenly end in a precipice, right, and crops actually on the cliff edge, left.

685-DSC05229.jpg

 

685-DSC05228.jpg

 

 

 

 

A wartime pillbox, at 38793/30559 according to my GPS, in a field of wheat.

1024-DSC05234.jpg

685-DSC05232.jpg

1024-DSC05233.jpg

 

 

 

 

The beach has developed a berm structure, with the rising tide pushing through crevasses, right, to fill this backwater. Excellent for paddling!

1024-DSC05235.jpg

1024-DSC05231.jpg

1024-DSC05236.jpg

 

 

 

 

Looking towards the south, left, and the extensive clay platforms become visible. Looking northwards the bay displays its characteristic embayment structure.

1024-DSC05237.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05238.jpg

1024-DSC05239.jpg

 

More of the northern part of the bay, with its clay pediments, overhanging cliff top vegetation, and embayments.

1024-DSC05240.jpg

1024-DSC05242.jpg

1024-DSC05241.jpg

 

 

 

 

The southern end of the bay is much more regular in shape, almost straight, and also has a wide beach with crevasse features .. and, right, the remains of a revetment defence.

1024-DSC05243.jpg

1024-DSC05244.jpg

1024-DSC05245.jpg

 

 

 

 

The hard defences at the Cart Gap end of the bay continue to be outflanked, and will soon be eating into the sea wall from the landward if maintenance is not forthcoming. The cliff top now enjoys the destructive attention of rabbits, centre.

1024-DSC05246.jpg

1024-DSC05247.jpg

1024-DSC05248.jpg

 

 

 

Hard defences at Cart Gap; sheet-piling in front of a concrete apron and then concrete steps topped by a recurved sea wall - all with heavy double groynes down the beach!

685-DSC05250.jpg

 

 

 

 

685-DSC05249.jpg

 

The woodwork at Cart Gap is not all well-maintained, but these heavy groynes are, as can be seen on the right, actually low in the water and almost overtopped by accumulated sand!

1024-DSC05251.jpg

685-DSC05253.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05252.jpg

In places the beach has been lowered by erosion and comes up against the sheet piling.

1024-DSC05254.jpg

 

1024-DSC05255.jpg

 

 

 

 

The view north, with the recurved sea wall leading to the wide beach of 'Happisburgh Bay' ... and a beach sculpture of an old iron rod and a collection of plastic  articles!

1024-DSC05257.jpg

685-DSC05256.jpg

1024-DSC05258.jpg

 

 

 

 

The tide was at its fullest when these pictures were taken, surging over the beach berm to splay into the recesses behind.

1024-DSC05259.jpg

1024-DSC05261.jpg

1024-DSC05262.jpg

 

 

 

 

The clay outliers for a promontory that will limit transits of the beach with higher tides.

1024-DSC05263.jpg

1024-DSC05265.jpg

1024-DSC05264.jpg

 

 

 

 

The small shingle seen here was characteristic of the central part of the bay, where the clay promontories met the sea.

1024-DSC05267.jpg

685-DSC05266.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05268.jpg

 

An inter-tidal pool system has built up, that would be attractive to holidaymakers. In the centre is a short of the layered clay and above it the vertical fissure where sand has tumbled down as a possible result of rainwater.

1024-DSC05269.jpg

685-DSC05270.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05273.jpg

The shingle seems to have been arrested at this point, as it reverts back to sand to the north of the feature.

685-DSC05274.jpg

 

685-DSC05272.jpg

 

 

 

 

More clay features, shingle berms and then the wide golden sands to the north.

1024-DSC05274.jpg

1024-DSC05275.jpg

1024-DSC05276.jpg

 

 

 

 

Erosion here has left a hollow behind the cliff face, with sand trickling out of the vertical channels, centre. The flanking photos show the clay platform and the fine sands above.

1024-DSC05278.jpg

685-DSC05277.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05279.jpg

 

The interface between sand and clay is marked by a darkening due to dampness, and collapse of the sand immediately above the join. In the centre the water has etched a series of pools on its journey to the beach.

1024-DSC05281.jpg

685-DSC05280.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05282.jpg

 

 

The corner of the new bay and the occupied cliff top has changed fundamentally, in now there is a wide stretch  of new sand between the rip-rap/metal poles and the clay promontory.

1024-DSC05283.jpg

 

1024-DSC05284.jpg

 

1024-DSC05285.jpg

 

 

 

 

The makeshift defences are still doing a job, however, and the steel poles set the standard! Cliff House and its neighbours are only a little closer to the edge than six months previously.

1024-DSC05288.jpg

 
 

1024-DSC05286.jpg

 

 

 

 

Sand has been pushed up the beach, and the erosion has been only modest over the last months, but the rip rap has certainly been progressively submerged and will provide a poor defence  to a eqinoxal tide/gale/surge.

1024-DSC05290.jpg

 

685-DSC05289.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05291.jpg

 

 

The destructiveness index rises towards the old lifeboat ramp, with the high tide pounding on the revetments, and now the rip rap .. whilst the last of Beach Road hangs on for a little longer.

1024-DSC05292.jpg

1024-DSC05293.jpg

1024-DSC05297.jpg

 

 

 

 

On the damp clay pavement a discarded tree root is iconic, although it was discarded there, not undermined1

1024-DSC05296.jpg

685-DSC05295.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05294.jpg

Rocks, revetments and the old ramp stand before the new beach access steps.

1024-DSC05298.jpg

   

 

 

 

 

 

Destruction of past defences, and undermining of the new .. a sorry commentary on policy!

1024-DSC05299.jpg

 

 

 

1024-DSC05300.jpg

1024-DSC05301.jpg

A glimpse through the broken concrete of the Coastguard launch ramp ... of the Happisburgh of holidaymakers enjoying the sun and the sand.

685-DSC05302.jpg

Norfolk Happisburgh Beach Road Cart Gap  coast erosion defences neglect revetments rip rap groynes beaches  lighthouse sea walls lifeboat station access leisure

 

North Norfolk and Happisburgh Index

 

Gallery

Home