Environment Agency: “Shingle all the way” at Seaford

Up to 60,000 cubic metres of shingle is moved to maintain protection to homes and businesses around Seaford, the Environment Agency said.

The twice-yearly maintenance work on the beaches in the area maintains protection for the town from coastal flooding.

The beach provides a soft-engineered flood defence that reduces the impact of high tides and storms on the seafront. This essential work has been identified as the most cost-effective method for maintaining the 4 kilometre shingle beach.

Nick Gray, flood and coastal risk manager at the Environment Agency for Sussex, said: “Sea levels are projected to rise by more than one metre in southern England over this century, and with more frequent, powerful storms also predicted, the risk of increased coastal erosion and flooding is likely.”

“As we enter the winter months, it is essential that the shingle beach is maintained to ensure it continues to provide protection to homes and businesses in Seaford.”

Over time, natural coastal processes along the beach move shingle away from the central section of the beach to the north-west at West Beach, and south-east at Splash Point, depending on prevailing wind and wave direction.

To maintain the required standard of protection along the full length of the frontage, the Environment Agency typically moves up to 60,000 cubic metres of shingle in each recycling phase, back to the centre of the beach.

The shingle is loaded from an excavator into lorries, which then transport the material to where it is needed.

Bulldozers then position the material into the beach profile.

Photo: Environment Agency