Monday, September 24, 2012

Yorkshire is disappearing up to three times as fast as last year

Martin Wainwright in the Northerner Blog at the Guardian (UK): A dry spring and soggy summer are being blamed for sharply increased coastal erosion along Yorkshire's eastern flank which borders the North Sea.

Just in time before more rain fell, engineers from the East Riding of Yorkshire district council have been out along their stretch of collapsing cliffs south of Bridlington where the solid rock walls which culminate in Flamborough Head come to an end.

Using a backpack satnav which plots their course, the team are surveying the current 'last of Yorkshire' and comparing it with where the county ended a year ago. The results vary but in places the county has lost a startling 7m (22ft) compared to annual average of 1.7m (5.5ft).

As a result, more properties which now all but teeter above the beach below have been added to the list of homes no longer considered safe. Retired couples in Aldborough, 10km (6.2mls) south of Hornsea face almost certain evacuation before next summer. Ten houses were abandoned last year, their plots going the way of the three local hotels – the Spa, the Talbot and the Royal – whose remains are now under the sea.

In proportion to the loss of land, the East Riding has gained a mountain of information which is very approachably available online here. Last year, the range of surveys and monitoring was joined by the first accurate seabed mapping off Holderness, the southern stretch of the coast which ends in the delicate – and up to now indestructible – hook of Spurn point....

Cliffs at Flamborough, shot by Peter Church, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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