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The edge

The magazine of CoastNET Vo l u m e 9 I s s u e 3 Au t u m n 2 0 0 5

Coastal management Relevance Marine aggregate National Trust and

information overload of SMPs dredging coastal defence
The edge
T h e m a ga z i n e o f C o a s t N E T Vo l u m e 9 I s s u e 3 Au t u m n 2 0 0 5

3 Editorial

4 News

Coastal management Relevance Marine aggregate National Trust and

information overload of SMPs dredging coastal defence

6 Landing the plane

CoastNET’s Network Manager, Theresa
CoastNET – breathing new Redding, takes off through the red tape of
life into coastal matters coastal management policy as she attempts to
find safe landing
Volume 9 Issue 3
Autumn 2005
Defending the coast
8 A natural kind of defence
The edge, is a quarterly magazine, A visit to Abbotts Hall Farm in Essex where a
sent out to all CoastNET members. large scale experiment in coastal realignment
and sustainable farming is in full swing
CoastNET is an international
networking organisation that
works with all coastal interests to 10 Head to Head
promote the exchange of ideas,
information and expertise to find Alex Midlen, Chair of CoastNET and David
long term solutions to coastal Green, Head of Infrastructure, Works and
problems that benefit all. Our Engineering at Arun District Council, go head
mission is to safeguard the future to head as they debate the relevance of
of the world’s coastline and those
communities of people and Shoreline Management Plans
wildlife that depend upon it for
their livelihood, enjoyment and
recreation. 12 Viewpoint – Marine aggregate extraction and
coastal protection – threat or opportunity?
Editor: Lesley Smeardon With over 100,000 tonnes of aggregate
Designed by: Cottier& Sidaway needed for every kilometre of motorway built,
Printed by: Gildenburgh Ltd
Cover picture: Tim Sidaway
it’s not surprising that the marine aggregate
industry is thriving – but is there a price to
To submit an article for publication, please pay for the coast? Andrew Bellamy and Mark
email to the editor saving your submission Russell from the British Marine Aggregate
as a word document. Alternatively, send to
the address below. Letters can be sent to the Producers Association argue for the benefits.
editor but we are unable to acknowledge
receipt. The editor reserves the right to edit
13 Viewpoint – Shifting shores
Rob Jarman from the National Trust, explains
CoastNet: 37 High Street,
Rowhedge, the Trust’s new policy on coastal defence
Essex CO5 7ET
Tel/Fax: 01206 728644
Email: 14 Groundworks
Web: A regular look at the work of coastal 13
CoastNet is governed by an independent
Board of Management and serviced by a
Secretariat. 15 CoastNET events
Registered charity no 1055763
Registered as a company limited by
guarantee, company no 3204452
16 Webwise
The opinions expressed in the magazine are
not necessarily those of CoastNET. A round up of what’s best on the Net for
© CoastNET, 2005
coastal defence

2 The edge Autumn 2005

Floods on a biblical scale, disease, poverty, hunger, destruction, death.
Indian Ocean tsunami… or Hurricane Katrina in the USA?

active efforts to share experience,

oastal management is a ones which appear weekly on our TV
global issue. No, let’s be screens, attracting unprecedented knowledge and wisdom, and to work
more specific; it’s a global public support for change. Yet change together to lobby governments and
problem. We think we happens only slowly, and in fits and international institutions. At both
know the theory, but nowhere has starts. levels, many recognise that both
society got it right. Not in the UK or commitment and resources are
the USA, not in Holland or Hong Has the coast ever a chance of lacking. And perhaps there is also a
Kong, not in Aceh or Adelaide, not in achieving a similar profile? I think we secret ingredient that’s been
Thailand or Tanzania. First world or can all acknowledge the terrible reality overlooked: the personal energy
third world, north or south, that disasters raise, but they are but required to overcome the inertia of the
democracy or totalitarian state, across moments in time and regarded in the system?
all these divides we share the public and political consciousness as,
difficulties of integrating sectoral simply, events. In fact, they are the In the UK we have a short window of
policies, communicating with result of a systematic failure of opportunity, with the forthcoming
stakeholders, and of giving adequate authorities to govern. That is, to Marine Bill, for Government to show
weight to the importance of the recognise risk and predict impact, to the commitment and to provide the
environment as a source of risk and of take a holistic view, to show leadership resources. Then, perhaps, those of us
wealth. This edition of CoastNET’s and to regulate, and, ultimately, to who struggle to pull all the different
Bulletin, now named The edge, focuses protect lives, livelihoods and property. strands of coastal management
on defending the coast against the together, will have the energy to
mighty forces of nature – forces that What can we do to overcome or continue the battle. It’s got to be worth
are common the world over. reverse this political failure? At the the effort – remember, it’s about lives
local level we must all champion and livelihoods.
In the arena of international politics integration of policy, and promote the
the inertia of conventions and development of holistic visions for
protocols limits progress to decadal coastal regions. These are the basic
timescales. Just look at the pace of tools, and they are simple enough and
change regarding third world poverty perfectly recognisable to anyone in
and climate change… hugely public service today. At the
significant issues for humankind, and international level, we must make Alex Midlen, Chair of CoastNET

The edge Autumn 2005 3

Swept away
Stark reminder of the power and
force of the sea. Artist Bettina
Furnae set 38 flags spelling out ‘
Submission is advancing at a frightful
speed’ along an 80 metre stretch of
coast at Bawdsey, the farthest being
14 metres away from the cliff edge. A
camera recorded the daily level of
erosion and in September, only eight
months into the project, just two flags
remained. As Furnae commented: “we
knew this stretch of coastline was
eroding fast but even local people
didn’t expect it to be so quick. We
planned for this to be a year-long
project but barely half way through
we have lost 12 metres of this
coastline.” Full details of the project
can be found at

Coastal planning Cornwall beach

Marine Bill on the agenda? and dune audit
update With the announcement in March
that Policy Planning Guidance (PPG)
given funding
Defra is undertaking a series of 25 on development and flood risk is The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
three Marine Bill forums for to be strengthened, there is yet to be Coastal Group has recently been
partner organisations and any news of a likely review of the awarded Defra funding to undertake
stakeholders to discuss planning policy on coastal planning a beach and dune study covering the
proposals for the long awaited (PPG 20) originally published way 1,300 hectares of sand dune habitat
and far reaching Marine Bill. The back in Sept 1992. Surely after 13 around the Cornish coastline.
first forum giving a brief years there is argument for a Amounting to 15 per cent of Britain’s
overview of the Bill’s revision of what must now be a sand dune complexes, this habitat
development took place at the policy of limited use, overshadowed provides an effective coastal defence
end of September with the by subsequent Government plans, for Cornwall. The study aims to
remaining two events due to take guidance and legislation. Currently identify a range of typical beach-
place late November 2005 and the Office for the Deputy Prime dune systems and the pressures
mid January 2006. The draft Bill Minister (ODPM) has no plans for upon them from coastal processes.
is due to be published no later any revision. Recommendations will form a best
than November 2006, and subject practice management guide that can
Tim Sidaway

to public consultation with be applied to similar beach/dune

introduction to Parliament systems throughout the UK. The
hopefully sometime during 2007. project is expected to start in 2006
with completion in 2007.

Further information on the Marine

Bill can be found on the Defra For further information contact
website: Project Manager, Martin Clemo at
environment/water/marine Restormel Borough Council:

4 The edge Autumn 2005

Tsunami update Defending the coast
Nine months on from the Asian tsunami disaster, a number of projects are
now being funded to restore or develop the mangrove and coral reefs in an
– by numbers
effort to prevent the level of devastation experienced in December.
The ability of natural coastal Action Project, in partnership with 500-1,000 billion
ecosystems to mitigate the effects of local organisations, is restoring the the value, in Euros, of
natural phenomena, such as the hydrology along the coast and economic assets at risk of
tsunami is widely known. In Aceh, replanting mangrove trees where erosion and flooding within
Sumatra where mangrove clearance needed. The NGO is also calling on 500 metres of EU coastline.
had been considerable, with two- aid agencies and governments to (Eurosion)
thirds of the original area lost, the back a plan to re-establish protective
natural protective buffer against wind mangrove greenbelts along those 3.2 billion
and wave that mangrove systems otherwise denuded coastlines which amount, in Euros, of public
provide was badly missed during the will face future disasters if left expenditure dedicated to
tsunami. Areas with dense unprotected. coastline protection in Europe
mangroves suffered fewer human against the risk of erosion and
casualties and less damage. And in Tamil Nadu, India, and in flooding in 2004. (Eurosion)
Galle, Sri Lanka the Project Aware
Now a number of mangrove Foundation is funding mangrove 70 million
restoration projects are underway. In development and restoration the number of people living in
Sumatra, Indonesia, The Mangrove projects. EU coastal municipalities.

CoastNET news 40,000

the number of hectares of
Engaging the public – coastal workshops Essex saltmarsh that existed
before sea walls were built.
CoastNET is organising a series of messages to convey to the public, the Today, this figure stands at
regional workshops for coastal practit- identification of target audiences and 2,500 ha.
ioners to share ideas on how best to the stumbling blocks for achieving (Essex Wildlife Trust)
engage the public in coastal issues. good practice.
65 the percentage of people in
Our workshops will combine Delegates will also be provided with England, Wales and Northern
presentations and facilitated concrete resources and activities to Ireland who regard visits to
discussions in the exploration of good take away and use in their work. The the coast as important to
practice in public engagement, with workshops will be taking place towards their quality of life. (National Trust)
additional discussions on the key the end of 2005 and into early 2006.
64 the number of metres of
If you are interested in attending one of the workshops, contact Erin coastline that has receded in
Pettifer: Tel 01206 728644 or Email six years at Winterton, near
Great Yarmouth, UK.
(BBC news online)
Corepoint meeting
From the end of 2004 CoastNET became one of the partners in a large EU
33 the percentage of English and
project named Corepoint (COastal REsource POlicy INTegration). Led by
Welsh coastline protected by
the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre from University College Cork
artificial defences.
(Friends of the Earth)
there are 11 other partners involved, including six universities, two
councils and two organisations spanning eight EU countries. Corepoint
objectives include establishing NW Europe as an internationally-
20 the percentage of European
recognised region of excellence in coastal management. Part of the
shoreline facing serious
project aims to establish a NW Europe Coastal Resource Centre and as
coastal erosion in 2004.
part of this, CoastNET is developing the coastal web portal as a platform
from which to launch the resource centre (see Vol 9, issue 2 of Bulletin for
more information about the portal).
The edge Autumn 2005 5
the plane
With the many initiatives, policies, consents and plans that exist for coastal
management, working towards ICZM can seem as difficult as landing a plane that’s
being directed in by several air traffic controllers at once. CoastNET’s Network Manager,
Theresa Redding, attempts to find safe landing.

management, ICZM or ICM. Today, sustainable. Right now of course the

onsider for a moment …
with the review of the LUP landing a plane seems like a piece of word on the street is ‘Marine Bill’,
system and the debate on cake compared with finding your way although no-one is yet sure what these
the development of MSP, around the issues, initiatives, policies, words will really mean to the coastal
what happens when the two systems Bills and consents process all related to management world and ICZM.
meet and will this be directed by a managing the 19,000 miles of coast
new MA? Does the MCA get left out in around Great Britain and its islands. Development of ICZM
the cold and will SMPs be necessary or With the coast being given a
will they be superceded by another With the effects of climate change higher profile by the EU (with the
initiative under the new MB? In upon us, so very visible in coastal areas Demonstration Programme on
addition whatever will happen to given tsunamis, hurricanes, sea level ICZM report and the subsequent
NTZs and SACs, MPAs not to mention rise and the resulting physical changes ICZM Recommendation, the Water
PPGs (now PPSs), NPPGs and TANs and loss of life that have occurred, Framework Directive, the Habitats
…………..are you still with me? many now consider that defending the Directive to name only a few)
coast is of supreme importance. Government had no option but to
There are nearly as many buttons, However it’s not that simple and issues respond. And respond it did, initiating
levers and lights in the cockpit of an related to the coast are complex, a flurry of activities and reports,
Airbus, as there are acronyms, requiring integrated and far-sighted sending the world of coastal
projects, and ideas relating to coastal management to ensure they are management into information

6 The edge Autumn 2005

Perhaps we need to take ICZM down to its most fundamental
level and look at exactly what we are trying to manage. This
must be human activities on the coast – and the list is long.

overload. Now, there is a plethora of into account. There are now calls (include those at the coast)
information relating to the coast and from a wide variety of voices for • The Marine Bill should provide for
its management, in reports, research various inclusions into the Marine better integration at sea, ie marine
papers, books and guidance notes – Bill (for example, the Marine Bill activities
enough to bury a Boeing. It’s almost Bulletin – Wildlife and Countryside
impossible for a mere mortal to Link, August 2005) and all these need The interface between the two systems
get hold of all these documents let to be considered. So where should it (wherever this is…) must be managed
alone read, understand, cogitate and all start? through partnership working (not just
digest it all. through coastal and estuary
Perhaps we need to take ICZM down partnerships ). The Water Framework
The historical aspects of how and to its most fundamental level and Directive, which also spans the land-
where the UK is today in terms of look at exactly what we are trying to sea interface in its aspirations, is
ICZM, can be found in a clear and manage. This must be human another complication that needs to be
concise report by S Gubbay (2002) activities on the coast – and the list is added to the equation and dealt with
which can also be found on our long. A recent CoastNET workshop through the partnership approach.
website: under for coastal and estuary partnerships Clearly, for true integration, these
Publications. The main conclusions (March 2005) identified various partnerships must be multi-sectoral.
from this report recognised that coastal activities. These could be
progress in ICZM (or ICM) had been separated into those managed under Of course, even with both systems
mainly through initiatives undertaken the land use planning system, those in place and a partnership approach
by coastal fora and other adhoc falling under the Water Framework which is centrally supported,
projects which were not carried out Directive, those which could be integration will never be deliver-
under a statutory framework and managed under marine spatial ed unless those charged with
therefore not part of any long term planning as well as those which lay implementing both systems
strategy. Work on ICM under the outside all these categories. The understand the need for, and the
devolved administrations and in workshop concluded that the coast is benefits of, integrated management
England has been carried out in a unique resource, spanning the land- and put systems in place at the local,
variable ways and under fairly sea interface, which needs special regional and national level. The
different timescales. This is due to consideration in terms of Marine Bill must ensure that both a
the low political profile as well as management systems. At present the partnership approach and new
limited funding and statutory support management of coastal activities is planning systems are both supported
for ICM. confusing and the need for a clear and implemented; then perhaps, and
system, supported by a statutory only perhaps, we can land the plane.
Managing the land-sea framework was a popular call. There
interface was also clear indication that coastal
Since 2002, the completed National and estuary partnerships could play
Stocktake concluded that, in terms of an important role in integrating
implementing the eight principles of policy and practice but only with
ICZM, there was ‘a mixed and greater statutory support. The report
inconsistent approach’ and that a and conclusions drawn can be found
mechanism planning for the land-sea on under
interface was lacking. While marine Publications.
spatial planning may have a role in
the decision making process on the So what hope is there for ICZM?
use of the sea, what happens when • The new land use planning system
marine spatial planning meets the should provide for better
revised land use planning system? integration at the land-sea
Hopefully the Marine Bill will take this interface ie terrestrial activities

The edge Autumn 2005 7

C Gomersall

A natural kind of defence

How might managed realignment work in practice and what are the real benefits of the
approach? A trip to Abbotts Hall Farm may provide some answers, says Lesley Smeardon

cost of sea wall repair here is acre strip of arable land behind the sea

t’s a typical late summer’s day on
an Essex farm. High, wispy clouds astronomical, not to say politically wall. The saltmarsh as well as creating
meld into the blue sky, with only unacceptable and an alternative a wildlife haven now exists as a natural
the occasional plane flying solution was needed”, says Graham flood barrier. “We were giving back an
overhead to disturb the idyllic Game, Development Manager with area of saltmarsh that had disappeared
skyscape. A mesh of farm tracks criss- the Essex Wildlife Trust – the NGO over years, a victim of ‘coastal squeeze’
cross the 700 acre farm, while sheep that owns and manages the farm. caused by the harsh sea wall defence”,
lazily munch their way through the “The Environment Agency, having adds Game.
abundance of grass. Intermittently, already piloted a couple of small-scale
collared doves burst out from bushes coastal realignment schemes in the Good for wildlife, good
filled with ripening blackberries and area were looking for a test site much for people?
crickets buzz in the reedy grass nearby. larger. At the same time we were While the saltmarsh is undoubtedly
And out in the distance, a mass of considering sustainable solutions to good for wildlife, supporting a wide
intertidal saltmarsh sprouts on what the flooding problem, keen to stop range of birds, plants and fish, how
was once agricultural land, flourishing talking about how landowners should popular is the project among the local
from the new blanket of seawater now manage their land but to put in community and its fishing and oyster
bathing this land. For this is no practice a working, successful model. industries? “One of the biggest
ordinary farm in Essex. This is Abbotts When Abbotts Hall came up for sale, it concerns prior to the sea wall breach
Hall Farm, a large scale, high risk provided a perfect test site, bought by came from local oystermen and
experiment in coastal realignment and us in 1999 along with partnership fishermen regarding sediment flow
sustainable farming. organisations: WWF-UK, English and suspended sediment damaging
Nature, the Environment Agency, and the often fragile habitats of fish and
The project beginnings arose out of a Heritage Lottery Fund.” oyster”, says Game. “Key to the
need for a less expensive solution to project’s success was involving this
coastal defence than the existing Today, the sea wall has been breached community from day one who, while
policy of repair to the crumbling sea in five places, allowing the tide in and sceptical, were open to the
walls which currently protect most of out which has successfully encouraged experiment. Intensive monitoring
the 400 miles of Essex coastline. “The coastal marshes to grow on the 200 including sensors put along the

8 The edge Autumn 2005

“The project beginnings arose out of a need for a less expensive
solution to coastal defence than the existing policy of repair to
the crumbling sea walls which currently protect most of the
400 miles of Essex coastline”

estuary and Salcott Creek and tweaks harvesting technique is low impact, of coastal flood defence funding, the
to the system, such as putting ledges handpicked by volunteers”, says Game. total costs to Government of managed
up to control tidal speed have meant “Not only have we shown a market for realignment in suitable areas must be
that local fishermen and oystermen the samphire but we have tapped into more favourable than the bottomless
have not experienced any decline in an existing fishing supply chain, pit of coffers needed for ongoing sea
their catches. As well as these local putting the picked samphire on the fish wall repair. Perhaps, in time, the
industries, we have also ensured that lorries for delivery.” political will for a lower cost coastal
the parish council is represented on alternative to hard sea wall defence in
our management committee.” But what of these landowners who are those areas suitable for such an
not blessed with the grants and approach will become evident. In the
Farming the land volunteers that the Essex Wildlife Trust meantime, Abbotts Hall Farm
While the local fishing industries may have? As Game replies, “we’ve had continues to do what it does best:
have been won over by the landowners visit the site and enthuse demonstrating to all who wish to see,
experiment, what about the county’s about what we’re doing here but always a low cost, natural flood defence
landowners who perhaps stand to lose the same question is asked: where do I method that has the backing of both
the most from such schemes? Here, get the money from to do this?” local community and industry.
demonstrating new profit-making
options was key. Schemes, such as And there’s the rub. While Abbotts Hall Abbotts Hall Farm is situated in the centre of a 25
harvesting sea asparagus, otherwise has provided a fantastic large scale km section of Essex coast between the Colne Estuary
known as samphire, and selling to up- experiment demonstrating the benefits and the Blackwater Estuary. For more information
market restaurants in London as well that can be had from managed about the project contact the Essex Wildlife Trust:
as local delis has demonstrated that realignment, landowners need to have Tel 01621 862960 or email:

there are other markets out there to be access to realistic compensatory

capitalised on. “The season for payments to help them to create such
samphire is short, between the end of schemes. If seen, not as yet another Brent geese on the flooded saltmarsh
June and mid August and the landowner subsidy, but as one vital part at Abbots Hall.

C Gomersall

The edge Autumn 2005 9

Head to Head
Should Shoreline Management Plans be scrapped in favour of a more
integrated spatial planning framework?

Alex Midlen, Chair of
David Green, Head of
CoastNET – SMPs should Infrastructure, Works and
be superseded by an Engineering at Arun District
integrated planning system Council – SMPs provide a valuable tool in
where planners and engineers their own right and valuable background
work closely together at the documentation to the local development
outset. framework.

The new planning So will the new planning system make would have to disagree with you.
AM system, being
emented through the Planning and
impl- any difference? I believe it will if we are
bold in our thinking and ambitious in
The SMP has been one of the
mainstay policies that our planners
Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, what we do. In relation to erosion and use to establish future changes to
provides a radically different flood risk I think we should be using our coastline. In addition they are
approach to planning. Rather than the new planning system directly to looking at the strategic approach to
just allocating land and setting plan for coastal defence and coast fluvial/land drainage flooding for
policies to guide the development of protection, rather than take a round- new development areas. This new
that land, it enables policy-makers to about route through Shoreline work will inform the LDF process
consider the wider spatial impacts of Management Plans (SMPs). One of the when complete.
human activity and to make policies enduring problems of this two-stage
that are not reliant on the granting of approach is a cultural one, with What I believe our planners find
planning permission for their engineers preparing SMPs and more of a challenge is the difficulty
implementation. This is particularly planners charged with translating this they experience in apprehending
significant in relation to the coast. into a planning context. Like any two what policies they should include
The only statutory plan for the coast professions, they speak a different in the LDF. This is particularly so
is the land use plan (with the language and this presents significant when advising developers on
exception of European Marine Site barriers to integration. So let's scrap sustainable policies on where not
Management Schemes, but they are SMPs and get the engineers directly to develop in future years or where
linked to local authority planning involved in the local development there is development now that
responsibilities). In the past their frameworks, working closely with should not be developed in the
scope has been limited, and they have planners from day one. future. This has become extremely
failed to deal adequately with many difficult for them as the LDF is
of the impacts of human activity on We are working very closely reviewed on a three-yearly cycle.
the coast. This is particularly the case
with coastal erosion and coastal
DG with our planning policy
unit here at Arun on the Local
Hence there is time to adapt to
change in later years and not in the
flooding risk. Development Framework (LDF) and I initial LDF.

10 The edge Autumn 2005

I also sit on a regional group for compromises in the 100 year have been working hard with SEERA
preparation of the Regional South time frame applied to shoreline (South East England Regional
East Plan. We have discussed the management will significantly Assembly) who have now
same issues for the coast over the compound the problems we are acknowledged the need for set back
next 20 years and although they trying to avoid. and the need for development zoning.
understand the problem still find it The spatial plan for the South East has
difficult to put into practice hard So I still maintain that the future for now been submitted after a
policies in their implementation plan the management of coastal erosion consultation period to the ODPM
and have therefore left it to the LDFs! and flood risk should be as part of the (Officer of the Deputy Prime Minister)
new spatial planning framework, for approval.
So you can see this is very much a rather than having its own policy
live issue and one that is framework which inevitably sets it An interesting response.
underpinned by the SMP. I still
believe that the SMP is a very sound
apart from the mechanism (spatial
planning) which is fundamental to its
AM From what you say it seems
that the planners you work with are
document that considers climate implementation. taking your advice on board, but only
change over the next 100 years and up to a point, and are doing it more
one that should be included as Where I believe there may because of your own efforts and
background documentation to the
DG be some difficulty is that the
LDF is being reviewed on a three year
persistence rather than as a matter of
timescale and planners are finding it
The points you raise over difficult to accept change readily The planning system and those who
AM the difficulty of turning
the SMP proposals into LDF or
particularly where they are still
responding to earlier SMP advice.
run it are very good at doing what
they have to do, but less good at
Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) integrating with others. Would it not
policies surely strengthens the case The SMP (2) will incorporate adaptive improve life for you, and your
for doing what the SMP does as part strategies over three epochs of a total colleagues around the country, if SMPs
of the planning process, rather than of 100 years. This is the best were supported not only by Defra
as a separate bolt-on activity? opportunity that we all have to cope policy, but also by an SDD
Looking at Government guidance (eg with climate change in the coastal (Supplementary Development
PPG 25) and what is coming through zone. Planners also consider that as Document) on managing coastal
in the first round of RSSs, there is a the SMP is not a statutory document, erosion and coastal flooding risk? In
danger that planning units will forge they do not need to consider directly this way planners would be obliged to
ahead with policies concerning flood at this time SMP (2) implications that incorporate it fully into local
risk based on strategic flood risk will ultimately blight either new or development frameworks, and
assessments alone. While this should older development of their area in the considering these issues would
reduce new development in flood risk two later epochs. This situation I become an integral part of spatial
areas, it does not bring the believe is changing very slowly. policy development.
requirement for land for managed
realignment in flood risk areas, or for I do, however, believe that although I think that would make your life a lot
set back zones in eroding coasts into there is some resistance from easier, and produce a better outcome
the planning process. planners, their LDFs are reflecting the with regard to spatial policy.
need for change particularly where
Another concern I have with the SMP there is an SMP (2). Currently, there I absolutely agree with your
process being outside the planning
process, is that the recommendations
are only three pilots at present, where
a firmer message can be given to
DG comments. One way forward
would be to include reference to SMPs
for an SMP may be considered by a authorities. I have in our own case in the reworked PPG 25 as an accepted
planning authority alongside other managed to get the planners to document by planners. I believe this
contrasting pressures and proposals, accept that any changes from the approach would answer all our
and inevitably a balance is struck amended PPG 25 due out this questions!.
which does not fully recognise the autumn should be incorporated
inevitability of physical change on within the LDF prior to consultation. Do you have a coastal issue you’d
the coast. The point you make about like to debate? If so, contact the
timescales is particularly relevant I certainly accept your statements Editor:
The next issue will discuss, climate
here – LDFs only look at a 10 year made on timescales and the inclusion
change and the coast.
timescale. The impact of 10 in the spatial planning frameworks. I

The edge Autumn 2005 11


Marine aggregate extraction

– an opportunity, not a threat
With 22 million tonnes of marine sand and gravel dredged from
British waters every year, the marine aggregate industry is big
business. Andrew Bellamy and Mark Russell from the British
Marine Aggregate Producers Association urge the coastal
community to see the opportunities.

ith the recent attention which includes a coastal impact study.
given to climate change This involves tidal current and wave Marine aggregate dredgers have the
and the associated height modelling using worst case ability to supply very large volumes
assumptions, determination of of marine sand and gravel directly to
factors of sea level rise
coastal frontages, by pumping the
and increased storminess, it’s easy to sediment mobility and linkages to the material ashore.
forget that the coastline of Britain has coast as well as an assessment of the
been under attack from the natural potential for beach drawdown. These
elements for many thousands of years. studies make recommendations for A further perception is that wave and
The supply of marine dredged monitoring and mitigation and a heights and energy at the coast will
aggregates has been one potential licence will not be granted if significant increase as protective banks are
solution to recent coastal change. impacts on the coast are predicted. removed by dredging. In reality, the
Benefits are very simple – firstly large seabed in most dredging areas is flat
volumes can be pumped ashore over The dredged marine aggregate deposits and in waters too deep to affect waves
short timescales without the need for are unrelated to coastal sediments and passing over them. In shallower waters
fleets of lorries. Secondly, marine coastal processes. Most were formed or on nearshore sandbanks,
sediments can be selected to closely during the Pleistocene Ice Ages when bathymetric and in some cases coastal
match the pre-existing, or required, sea level was 50 – 100 m lower than monitoring takes place as a licence
beach sediments in terms of present exposing the continental shelf condition and dredging depth
composition, colour and grading. in a cold, arctic climate. Deposits off restrictions can be imposed as a further
southern Britain occur as river valley safeguard.
Beach replenishment reduces erosion infills and terraces, while further north
rates by providing enhanced ‘soft’ glaciation produced sands and gravels The modern marine aggregate industry
protection to cliffs or dunes by raising in channels and basins. These fossil or has already made a significant
the level of a beach above high tide ‘relict’ sediments have remained contribution to Britain’s coastal
and storm surge levels. This provides immobile since their formation over defence over the last decade, with
additional flood defence for low lying 10,000 years ago, and are not part of schemes such as Lincshore,
land beyond the coast as in the coastal sediment system. Once Happisburgh – Winterton, Eastbourne
Lincolnshire and Norfolk, and also an extracted they will not reform and their and Hurst Spit, Hampshire. Against a
opportunity to enhance or restore the removal leaves shallow depressions in background of further coastal change,
amenity value to a stretch of coastline, the seabed typically 2 – 6 m deep and there will be a continuing requirement
eg Eastbourne. But without the 1 – 2 km long, depending on the for beach replenishment sources in the
availability of licensed reserves of thickness and extent of the resource. future. As a well regulated and
marine sand and gravel, none of these Monitoring surveys of bathymetry and managed industry, the marine
benefits could be realised. sediment transport processes aggregate sector is able to meet these
demonstrate that the dredged needs in both an environmentally
A causative factor of coastal depressions do not infill with modern acceptable and sustainable way.
change? sediments. Instead, bedforms simply
The British Marine Aggregate Producers Association
There is a perception that marine travel across these low relief features.
(BMAPA) is the trade association for the UK marine
aggregate dredging is in fact a aggregate sector. Tel 0207 963 8000 Website:
causative factor of coastal change and A common perception is that by

while poorly-controlled dredging deepening the seabed, beaches inshore

activity can cause effects at the will be drawn down into the dredged
coastline, the British industry is depression. Extraction, however, takes Agree/disagree? Do you have a
subject to comprehensive regulation place over 5 miles offshore in water point of view you’d like to feature
based on the precautionary principle. depths of between 10 and 40 m, well in The edge? If so, we’d like to
All dredging licence applications seaward of the coastal zone where hear from you. Contact the Editor:
require an environmental impact beach drawdown could occur.
assessment to be completed, part of

12 The edge Autumn 2005


Shifting shores Rob Jarman from the National Trust, explains the
Trust’s new policy on coastal defence

Photograph Copyright English Nature

onscious of the immediate
threats to our property
from flooding and coastal
erosion, a coastal risk
assessment has been undertaken on
our behalf by Halcrow and the early
results present striking evidence of the
reality of the changes facing our
coastline. These results are presented
in our new campaigning pamphlet
Shifting Shores (available from the NT
website and has formed part of our
review of coastal policy – so that we
now have a new National Trust
Coastal Policy (see our website).
Studland beach, Dorset
The work has shown that rates of
coastal erosion are increasing, ‘buy some time’ through limited and this for most Trust properties within
probably due to accelerating rates of ‘soft’ intervention. This allows us to the context of the new round of
sea level rise, and the impacts of sea negotiate the longer term position Shoreline Management Plans.
level rise extend further inland than with specific interest groups and/or
we previously thought, through tidal agencies. In these relatively few Finally, we know that there are many
influence on rivers and flooding. instances we may only expect to ‘hold places where ‘asset relocation’ will be
a line’ for a few decades. A project at necessary: movable elements such as
The risk assessment indicates that if Mullion Harbour (Cornwall) has been car parks, beach huts, visitor facilities
we assume no additional and/or no set up with this modus operandi as a should not be resident in the zone of
improvement to existing sea defences, clear objective and Brownsea Island risk. We are already removing/
we can expect to lose land by (Dorset) has already taken this relocating such things, as at Studland
erosion from 169 properties along approach for the sea wall to the beach. Our – and society’s – hardest
approximately 377 miles of coastline. lagoon. task will be to deal with residential
The assessment also suggests that 126 dwellings in the coastal risk zone. We
of our properties with land covering One of our overriding concerns is to be perceive a growing schism between
4,040 ha are currently at risk of prepared at every coastal property for haves and have-nots – defined by
flooding from the sea, and a further extreme events – storm, surge tide, etc. those who live in places big or
33 low-lying properties at risk of We recognise that in most cases this important enough to draw down
combined tidal and fluvial flooding will be the tipping point to make a government funds for coast protection
within the next 100 years. decision to change the coast. We want – and those who live in more isolated
to be ready to make that change – so coastal areas where previous defences
We have many conservation assets, that on the days immediately after a will not be renewed and coastline
natural and historic, within the severe storm we (and agencies) are not adaptation is policy. We need to
erosion and flooding zones, that on the beach putting defences back in invent new measures to help people to
people perceive as ‘irreplaceable’; and place to reinstate status quo, but move and allow the coast to adapt.
many structures on the shoreline that moving on…We have learned some Shifting Shores has some crucial points
are regarded as ‘fixed’ (houses, crucial lessons for this approach from to make in this regard – we should be
holiday cottages, cafes, beach huts, the Boscastle flood event last year – pleased to receive your comments and
car parks, coastal path, roads, etc). and from the Porlock Beach project suggestions.
from the late 1990s.
In most cases, intervention to prevent
change will damage conservation There are some places where agencies
interests – and interfere with coastal or statutes might presume that the Any comments/suggestions
processes causing knock-on impacts Trust will sustain coast protection, send to Rob Jarman, Head of
within the coastal cell. Our policy is especially where there are designated Sustainability at the National
to work with, enable and free-up and internationally significant Trust Email:
natural coastal processes. We will only interests. We shall have to negotiate
intervene to prevent coastal change at changes caused by sea level rise and
places where there is a clear need to Website:
erosion/flooding, and we intend to do

The edge Autumn 2005 13

A regular look at the work of
Groundworks coastal partnerships

Coastal defence
The role of coastal partnerships is not of the Beachy Head to South Foreland coastal partnerships are playing an
widely understood, due mainly to the SMP, which is one of the first in the essential role behind the scenes
difficulties in defining and evaluating country. As well as establishing a key supporting our nation’s coastal
their input to projects and the lack of a stakeholder forum, a crucial and novel defence work. In light of all this
nationally-agreed function. Much of part of this review was the additional wonderful work, isn’t it amazing that
their work falls within the less tangible formation of an elected members coastal partnerships do not receive any
remit of facilitating communication forum comprising elected members statutory support from central
and co-ordination among organisations from the relevant operating authorities, government?
and users in the coastal area. But the county councils and flood defence
importance of their work behind the committees. The forum kept members
Word out
scenes should not be underestimated, informed about policy developments
The role of coastal partnerships
particularly regarding current coastal and as such members were more Improving communication
“Ensuring local knowledge and opinion
defence policy, following its shift from supportive of the SMP, championing
is taken into account in the decision-
an historical ‘hold the line’ approach to the consultation draft when it came to making process for flood risk
one that seeks to work with natural public consultation. management schemes, is a key element
processes wherever possible. of an estuary officer’s role.”
Tammy Smalley, Wash Estuary Project

Staff from UK estuary partnerships are

Raising awareness of Officer

actively involved in the Estuary Flood coastal defence issues “Estuary officers act as a conduit for
Management Strategy (EFMS) processes Individual partnerships have developed information from the steering group
a range of innovative techniques to back down to local estuary groups.”
being undertaken along our coasts.
Beverley McClean, Essex Estuaries
Many project officers are members of raise awareness of coastal defences
Partnership Co-ordinator
the steering groups for these projects issues. The Wash Estuary Strategy
and try to influence strategic decision- Group has undertaken a number of “The fact that estuary partnerships are
projects to champion the fact that the already set up is beneficial to the
making for the better of their estuaries
Environment Agency as they can make
and local communities. As a result of Wash is a highly dynamic system that
use of these established networks…this
this improved communication between needs to function as naturally as means that major consultations can be
the community and external agencies, possible. This includes the recently carried out effectively and efficiently”.
completed joint project with Beverley McClean, Essex Estuaries
the risk of public backlash is greatly
Partnership Co-ordinator
reduced. What’s more, these established Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary where
networks provide a mechanism for on- information regarding issues such as Neutrality
going monitoring and review of policy, coastal squeeze, land reclamation and “If any issues of conflict arise once flood
managed realignment are covered in a management strategies are adopted my
which is permanently in place.
role will be to reconcile them through
series of interpretation boards which
networking and awareness raising…for
Neutrality is also a vital component of can be viewed by the 160,000 or more this it is essential that I remain neutral
a partnership officer’s role and forums visitors that pass through the and therefore approachable”.
Sanctuary’s doors each year. The Carol Starkey, Crouch and Roach Estuary
provide an opportunity for people to
Project Officer
air major concerns about proposed Estuary Planning Partnership (EPP) in
flood management plans. The Forth Suffolk has also produced two excellent
Many thanks to people who
Estuary Forum, for example, was set up plain English guides outlining plans, contributed background
to facilitate discussions about the strategies and the people responsible information or case studies to this
issue: The Wash Estuary Strategy Group,
possibility of managed realignment in for the Alde and Ore estuaries.
Essex Estuaries Initiative, The Crouch and
the area. This helped both the Partnerships are also able to work
Roach Partnership, Forth Estuary Forum,
communities and steering groups to together on more strategic and longer- Kent Coastal Forum, The National Trust,
gain a better understanding of their term aims. The proposal currently Suffolk Coasts and Heaths, The Humber
being put together by the Severn Project, Severn Estuary Partnership.
respective problems. Now, they are
better prepared to implement such Estuary Partnership for funding to look
If you’d like to contribute to
schemes in other sites. at the future of flood defence strategy
Groundworks and highlight the
in light of climate change and sea level important work your partnership
Coastal partnerships have also played rise is such an example. does or to submit a case study
an integral role in the recent Shoreline please contact Erin at
Management Plan (SMP) reviews. In It is clear that throughout the country, The next
Kent, the South East Coastal Group regardless of previous coastal defence issue of The edge will focus on
climate change.
(SECG) has been overseeing the review methods or the state of the coastline,

14 The edge Autumn 2005

CoastNET events
Shifting sands and Participatory planning Engaging the public –
all at sea? – & working with natural coastal workshops
The planning and regional
agenda around the coast
processes at the coast Dates: TBC
To all involved in planning and regional Date: 19 January 2006 (please Venue: Six different regional
work around the coast – announcing a note revised date for this venues in the UK
workshop you should not miss! event, rescheduled from
December 2005) CoastNet is organising a series
Date: 2 November , 2005 Venue: National Institute for of regional workshops for
Venue: Trinity House, Tower Hill, Marine & Coastal coastal practitioners to share
London EC3N 4DH (near Management ideas on how best to engage
the Tower of London) (RIKZ), The Hague the public in coastal issues.
Cost: Free to participants
There will be presentations and
including refreshments The seas of North West Europe, facilitated discussions in the
and finger buffet lunch especially the southern North Sea exploration of good practice in
and La Manche (the English public engagement and
The revised spatial (land use) planning Channel), are especially vulnerable concrete resources and
system offers a new opportunity to to the impacts of climate change. activities they can take away
address coastal issues. At the same Sea level rise and increased and use in their work.
time, the idea of marine spatial storminess, in an already highly
planning is gathering momentum and dynamic tidal environment, pose If you are interested in
the Government has signalled its increased risks to coastal attending one of the
intention to include some form of communities from flooding from workshops, contact Erin
marine spatial planning in a draft the sea and from coastal erosion. Pettifer: Tel 01206 728644 or
Marine Bill. There are many reasons to How can we adapt to and mitigate Email
expect that such a system will impact risk, respecting both natural
significantly on the land use planning processes and the legacy of
system and may well bring about spatial development in our coastal
changes to what you do as a planner in regions?
coastal regions and to those seeking to
achieve more integrated coastal zone The EU-funded Eurosion project
CoastNET Conference
management. set out to assess the risks to the Programme 2006 – 2007
coasts of Europe and to make
This workshop has been developed by Political systems and spatial planning
recommendations regarding
English Nature (a member of the in NW Europe coastal regions
management policies for erosion
Natural England Partnership which also March 06 London
risk. This conference will
includes the Countryside Agency and showcase examples of the issues
the Rural Delivery Service), RTPI and and solutions at the local level
organised by CoastNET with Involving actors and combining
around Europe, and will examine
encouragement from bodies such as instruments – making the best use of
the range of policy options
Regional Assemblies. It specifically policy tools for coastal spatial
available. An underlying theme of
aims to: strategies. June 06 France
the conference will be on the role
of local communities in the
• raise awareness and improve development of appropriate
understanding of the changes that NW Europe ‘Centre of Excellence’ in
have occurred and that are planned ICZM – challenges and opportunities
• highlight potential issues for September 06 Cork
Invitation for submission of
planners and regional bodies in abstracts.
coastal regions in implementing the If you would like a copy of the
new spatial (land use) planning Water framework directive and spatial
draft programme outlining session
system and developing marine planning on the coast
themes please contact Lucy
spatial planning December 06 Cardiff
Bannatyne. Please send a half
• provide planners and regional bodies page abstract of the proposed
with an opportunity to 'have their presentation by 31 October to
say' and highlight any problems, SEA Directive and coastal spatial
Theresa Redding.
issues, solutions and to be part of strategies. January 07 Newcastle
the process including to inform For further information about
current initiatives and projects. sponsorship and exhibition
opportunities for this event please For further information about any of
For further information contact contact Lucy Bannatyne. these conferences please contact
Theresa Redding at CoastNET
Lucy Bannatyne at CoastNET on
on +44 (0)1206 728644 or
+44 (0)1206 728644 or or Lucy
Bannatyne at

The edge Autumn 2005 15

We b w i s e
The best of the Net on coastal erosion and defence
Technical University Denmark,
Coastal and river engineering section,
Associated research projects include
exploitation and protection of coastal
zones, Delos, hydrodynamics, surf
and wash zone mechanics.
International Centre for Coastal
Resources Research, Universitat
Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain
The Centre aims to develop and
disseminate tools for coastal zone
management decision making.
Outlining a project promoting
environmentally-designed low crested
The Eurosion project aims to provide
structures to defend European shores
the European Commission with a
against coastal erosion and preserve
package of recommendations for
the littoral environment as well as
policy-making and information
coastal economic development. The
management practices to address
project involves 18 partners from
coastal erosion in Europe. Its website
seven European countries and end
contains a wealth of information
relating to European coastal erosion
and defence. Containing a GIS
database, reports online and the
Coastal defence techniques
shoreline management guide, the
latter of which contains country by GeoResources
country reports looking at policy Interactive and paper-based resources Marine Biological Association (with
approaches and defence techniques for academia University of Plymouth), UK
and measures taken. A professional body for marine biologists undertaking a wide range Geological Society of London of research projects.
EUCC (European Union for Coastal UK national society for geoscience. It
Conservation) offers news, events, publications and
EUCC’s website provides a general other resources about coastal defence ects/Flood_and_Coastal_Defence
overview looking at types of among many other subjects. Foresight, UK
approaches to coastal defence and Includes a project which developed a
likely impacts. Academic institutions long-term (30 - 100 years) vision for
involved in coastal defence the future of flood and coastal defence in the UK. Completed in 2004
research and development
UNEP United Nations Environmental
University of Bologna, Italy This publication is partially funded through
the Corepoint project under the Interrreg 3B
Programme. Corepoint aims to establish North West Europe as an internationally
recognised region of excellence in coastal
management by encouraging full
Fondazione Flaminia, Laboratory of implementation of ICZM, highlighting best
experimental ecology, Italy practice, providing education by influencing
national spatial policies – for further details please see
Aalborg University, Department of civil
engineering, Denmark
Involved in hydrodynamics, hydraulics,
hydrology, coastal engineering,
offshore engineering and wave energy.