Shingle recycling to start on town’s beach next week

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The Environment Agency will start shingle recycling at Seaford beach next week.

The work, due to begin on Monday, February 22, is expected to take between four and five weeks to complete and will help ensure the sea defence’s continued protection for the future.

The project is vital - without it, erosion and movement of shingle would leave the sea wall exposed. The River Ouse to Seaford Head Coastal Defence Strategy completed in 2012, estimates more than 700 residential and 350 commercial properties would eventually be left at an unacceptable risk of flooding in Seaford and east Newhaven.

David Robinson, Solent and South Downs Area Flood and Coastal Risk operations manager, said: “By carrying out the recycling work, we are able to maintain the defences at Seaford in readiness for the spring tides and stormy winter weather.

“Shingle recycling at Seaford has been identified as the most cost-effective method for maintaining the beach for coastal protection and recreational purposes, while still allowing natural coastal processes to continue.

“We work with East Sussex County Council to ensure protection of wildlife, flora and fauna, and Seaford Town Council and local residents to enable the beach environment to be enjoyed all year round.”

The four kilometre shingle beach takes the energy and force out of the waves, protecting the old sea wall and minimising shingle and wave overtopping.

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

In autumn and spring each year, the Environment Agency moves around 60,000 cubic metres of shingle from the eastern and western ends back to the centre of the beach. The shingle is loaded into lorries by an excavator, which then transport the material to where it is needed. Bulldozers then position the material into the beach profile.

The beach is carefully monitored and regular surveys are conducted to provide information on shingle volumes and locations.

For general information on how to prepare for flooding and the latest flood warnings in force visit www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding or ring Floodline on 03459 881188.

To download a copy of the Seaford Flood Plan, or for more information on the town’s Flood Defence and Planning Working Group, visit the Seaford Town Council website at www.seafordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

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