Tag Archives: Coastal erosion

Orfordness lighthouse closure proposed

The Orfordness lighthouse has been a landmark on the Suffolk coast for over 210 years, but has now been recommended for closure following the latest five-year review by Trinity House, who manage all lighthouses around the coastlines of England, Wales and the Channel Islands.

It plans to discontinue all navigational aids at Orfordness, and instead proposes increasing the range of the Southwold lighthouse to compensate. Trinity House asserts that as navigational technology continues to advance the reliance on the traditional system of lighthouses around the coast has diminished.

Keith Seaman, the current Orfordness lighthouse keeper, said it would be a sad loss.

“Obviously there will be some objection from people used to looking at the Orford skyline and seeing what has become an iconic tower standing there. It would be a tremendous blow if it disappeared.

“For me it would be a sad loss having worked there since 1994. It has become a part of me and I have enjoyed showing visitors round. If the lighthouse goes then I will no longer be required.

“It’s inevitable that at some stage the tower will cease to exist because of severe erosion but that may now be hastened.”

The recommended closure of the lighthouse has been made somewhat inevitable by the local coastal erosion, and the lighthouse may be lost to the sea anyway within five years, unless it was moved inland or coastal defences in the immediate area were strengthened.

Objection to the proposed closure is already being sounded by members of the The Alde and Ore Association, and the Public consultation pediod will continue until January 29th 2010. Responses should be sent to Navigation Directorate, Trinity House, Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4DH (email navigation.directorate@thls.org).

Source: EADT24.

Part of RSPB reserve to be lost to coastal erosion

The RSPB is to take radical action to save one of it’s most popular reserves from the sea.

Titchwell Marsh on the north Norfolk coast faces inundation by the North Sea and so to protect the future of the reserve the decision has been taken to allow the sea to reclaim part of the reserve in order to save the remainder. The current 30-year-old sea walls are being slowly eroded. If the waters were to break through the current defenses then the entire reserve, which is a mix of brackish and fresh water marshes and reedbed, will be lost along with the habitat for rare breeding birds like the bittern and marsh harrier.

Under the proposed scheme, the sea wall will be moved back behind the present brackish marsh, which will be allowed to return to tidal saltmarsh.

This will allow new and improved sea defences to protect the fresh water marsh and the reedbeds with their  breeding birds from the rising tides. At the same time visitor facilities will be enhanced and it is hoped the newly created saltmarsh will become a visitor attraction in its own right.

Rob Coleman, the reserve’s manager, is quoted on the news section of the RSPB website: “I know this is a huge change for Titchwell and for the very many people who share our deep love for the reserve, but the need to go ahead with this scheme was clear.

“We faced a stark choice between sacrificing the brackish marsh or losing the whole site to the sea.

“In drawing up these changes we have listened hard to local people and to visitors. As a result, the new-look site will keep and improve on all the things that make Titchwell special for them.”

RSPB website (news)