The Sea is eating Happisburgh

Coastal Erosion in Happisburgh

Photo courtesy of via a creative commons license
Photo courtesy of via a creative commons license

The unstoppable power of the sea

In the east of England, on the Norfolk coast, the tiny town of Happisburgh is being slowly but surely eaten by the sea. The town sits atop small sandy cliffs that face the north sea but until recently erosion has not been a problem due to the efforts of past governments to defend the land against the slow advance of the seas.

Recently however, the wooden defences that have protected the town have fallen into such a state of disrepair that they no longer do their job. The result is that large pieces of land have been taken by the sea, and some homes have gone with it.

There has been suprisingly little response from the government.

Then and now, the extent of the devastation

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Taken 01 January 1986 © Copyright 1986 UK Environment AgencyTaken 01 January 2006 Copyright 1986 UK Environment Agency
Taken 01 January 1986 © Copyright 1986 UK Environment Agency
Taken 01 January 1986 © Copyright 1986 UK Environment Agency
Taken 01 January 2006 Copyright 1986 UK Environment Agency
Taken 01 January 2006 Copyright 1986 UK Environment Agency

How much has been lost

The pictures above show just how much land the sea has taken in only twenty years, the town is literally being washed away at an astonishing rate, and the people who live there are nearly powerless to stop it. To make matters worse not only is the government doing nothing to help them, but they are not offering any sort of financial assistance or compensation to these people. Some have lost their homes, others have seen the value of their properties plummet in the space of a decade, but all deserve better than this seemingly inevitable fate.

What can be done

Whilst its true that time is running out for the town, all is not lost..yet. If new sea defences were built, the portion of the town not yet swalloed by the sea would remain, and those that live there could get on with their lives. Despite this, there is still no official policy from the government, no action being taken to protect these peoples homes from doom.

There are reasons given for not saving this village, environmental impact on the coast line or prohibitive cost, but these seem trivial when talking about an entire community and in the case of the environment, equally good reasons can be made to argue that defending the town will help the environment(being the defense of the nearby broads, a massive costal wetland)

At the end of the day..

The community will fight on until the last straw, for sure. But if it is possible to save this community from its watery fate, are we happy to let it be literally washed away?

Please vote or comment below...

Your say...

Should Happisburgh be saved from the sea?

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Comments 179 comments

SMITHY 6 years ago



carrot 6 years ago

dis place sucs

Rhen 6 years ago

Yes. This is historical town should be saved!

Protect Happisburgh!

angry mole 6 years ago

this place is so c**p

lol loz :D

angry mole 6 years ago

this place is so c**p

lol loz :D

angry mole 6 years ago

rhen... go to h/e/l/l

SMITHY 6 years ago



escarla 5 years ago

This place realy does deserve to be saved! Some people in my class don't think so because they think that it's just not worth it but homes will be lost!

robyn 5 years ago


lil_star 5 years ago

think about them they need our help save happisburgh have a heart people if dis was happenin 2 u wouldn't u wnt people 2 help think bout dat fink very carefully bout ur decision sooo....


darkman 5 years ago

mmmmmm i love a tasty foetus in the morning with my orange juice.

luke deakin 5 years ago

vital money can be spent else where in the country instead of this crap town such as building glasss bus shelters.

shep 5 years ago


audrey squires 5 years ago


on another note, happisburgh is the worst place ive ever been to :) and ive been to some bad broffles ;)

fruitella is a bad man sweet YGM! 5 years ago


Big D (fat) 5 years ago

this place is binladens home town therefor should be destroyed

NUKE 5 years ago

Spend money on nukes and defend from the future alien attacks that will happen to our small world in this universe

Chris Jaymes 5 years ago


Tom Shephard 5 years ago

Hello, if you are under the age on 10, i will meet up with and touch you behind a bus shelter multiple times to my satisfaction. x

A.Hitler 5 years ago

they should make like a polar bear and swim

hannah batch 5 years ago

i like this place it is cool :) x

elton John 5 years ago

make like a polar bear and swim

woop 5 years ago

your mum is eating happisburgh.

MR B.Laden 5 years ago

im aliveeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

rachel rachelson 5 years ago

You behaviour is dispicable!!!!

David Williams 5 years ago

Im om-noming Happisburgh for years now

I happen to like the taste :P

Kim_Jong-il 5 years ago

nom nom nom

tom shephard 5 years ago

i c u ;)

tom sheppy 5 years ago

mmmm children.

READDD 5 years ago

if you are reading this comment then you have no life and should jump off a bridge into my sack, from tom sheppy

ryan gaychin 5 years ago

nom nom nom sexy happisburgh mmmmm

Kim_Jong-il 5 years ago

in korea you can touch children for one dollar!!!!

HIIIIII 5 years ago

loren = small

selbin and gaychin 5 years ago

nom we is bum buddies 4 lyf.

Kim_Jong-il 5 years ago

i have a missile but its very small hilary cliton lets get it on :)!!!!!!!

RYAN MACHIN FTW 5 years ago

i now admit my sexuality - im GAy

selbin and gaychin 5 years ago

we is bum buddies mmm xoxoxox

danile 5 years ago

mop head mmmm

rach and lozzz xxxxx 5 years ago

love it with miss squizzy in the morning!!! morning breath i love it!!!!!! xx

xo.loren 5 years ago

i love old flaps

rahel lorenson 5 years ago

we are now an official couple

allah 5 years ago

you are all infadels!!!!!

selbin and gaychin 5 years ago

our kids are pengting xoxoxoxox

daniel 5 years ago

i haven't been to mcdonalds for 27hrs :(

jonathan 5 years ago

laura is sexy nomnom i want her babas.x

jesus  5 years ago


tom shephard 5 years ago

i can c all of u girls;)

judas 5 years ago


O. Bin Laden 5 years ago

i am the sickest at hide and seek bbz xoxoxoxoxox

Jon 5 years ago

Who wants to rub my head ladies ;)

S. Hussein 5 years ago

i cant play hide and seek for the life of me :( teach meh

NO 5 years ago

no one wants to rub your head jon, apart from laura. mmmmm xxxxxxxxx

ryan and keeezzzzzzza 5 years ago


hitler 5 years ago

you're all mean people!!

loren gadd 5 years ago


MIDGETS 4 LYF 5 years ago

MIDGETS DO IT BETTER. just sayin' :)

tom shephard 5 years ago

i haven't touched a kid for 13hrs

DWARFS 5 years ago

dwarfs are better at it

daniel and ryan machin happy couple 5 years ago

we have small winkies.

gaddsta 5 years ago

gadd gadd gadd gadd gadd gadd gadd gadd GADDYYYYYYY

PULFREH 5 years ago

hello baba's.

jesus 5 years ago

i sacrificed my life for you imbeciles and this is what you do! you silly, silly people!

ryan selby. 5 years ago

cheese string.

rory mcillroy 5 years ago


tiger woods 5 years ago

alright maccers

rory mcillroy 5 years ago

ey up tiger

tiger woods 5 years ago

just hit a six under par It was a decent round

luke donald 5 years ago

hey up serries

jason day 5 years ago

long time no see

lewis hamilton 5 years ago

tiger, you're my hero

jordan hirst 5 years ago

that was all me :)

mikey ward 5 years ago

Anyone seen craggers lately?

barak obama 5 years ago

shes with me in the war room

Maddie Mc.Cann 5 years ago

No barak that's me.

barack obama 5 years ago

shhh I told you not to tell anyone

ryan caunt 5 years ago

ey up barak

hows it going

anna griffin teal 5 years ago

has anyone seen my boyfrien james parker

ryan caunt 5 years ago

oh i love abi king

abi king 5 years ago

i hate ryan caunt

jaarjer 5 years ago

i love sniffin griffin

ryan caunt 5 years ago

abi is the love of my life

bob 5 years ago

i believe that it should be saved as that people homes will be lost. plus all the people have put stupid comments are stupid how would you like it if all your belongs and home and maybe family could be killed !!!!

lucy 5 years ago

i need a wee

Sexxaii girls talk ere ;) xxx 5 years ago

heloooo girllsss lool xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Clapperss :')  5 years ago

i think it is err very err inappropriate that happisburgh is going through these errr rough times. It will be socially, economically and err eviromentally sustainable to save happisburgh. Have you checked out buy a rock for happisburgh charitey? Donate now and all the little boys and girls will err be very thankful.

Loren Sanderson 5 years ago

i thnk dat u shud not safe dis plaice x

Keenan Shannon 5 years ago

i love midgets, speshly loren.xoxoxoxoxox

but i dnt agree dat dis place shud not be saved, cus i love it. SAVE HAPPISBURGH bbz, ygm?

Loren Sanderson 5 years ago

i was i hd da ballz 2 ask owt dat keenan 'beastting' shannon guy, he so cute and good luckin nd i thnk hed be da best bf eva xxxxx

Keenan Shannon 5 years ago

i am a crazy ass stalker and my heart is only 4 loren bbz. shes a dwarf but i luv her muchly bbz, me and her foreva, i wish roflmao!!!!!!!!!, i cnt even get a CUDDLE :'( luv yu all guyz, even da boy'dem! xoxoxox

Loren Sanderson 5 years ago

ok. i fancy keenan, wat can i say? hes 2 peng xoxoxo

Keenan Shannon 5 years ago

awww fanks loren bbz.xoxoxox

i changed ma mind doe init, i want the deakin

james parker 5 years ago

i love the griff

Meeeeeeeeeee 5 years ago

Hey. If u save Happisburgh (A tiny village with a tiny population), the rest of Norrfolk will be eroded at a much higher rate. You had defences, you didn't look after them. If you protect Happisburgh the Norfolk Broads will be at risk from erosion and so will Blakeney Point (Supported by the RSPCA and RSPB). Don't be so selfish.

Your Trully

A Year 8 girl

beach 4 years ago

For your information this world is NEVER going to be invaded by aliens so spend some of the vast amount of money you have on saving these poor people's homes.

best ever. 4 years ago

hey i love happisburgh, i hate loren.s she is a slaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag like kirsty staples. xxxxxxxoooooooxxxxxxxo

tom shep 4 years ago

hey i love all da yung ladys and lads

loren sanderson 4 years ago

hiya just lettin everyone know im hiring myself out if you want me, call me, 0115-slaggyy xx

Sloth Patrol 4 years ago

This is now the offical Sloth Patrol Website

will painter 4 years ago

farming is my life

jared d 4 years ago

i love maddie D

Sloth Patrol 4 years ago

Please could people stop spamming on the Sloth Patrol Website.

i hate sloth patrol 4 years ago

Sloth patrol are fake, uganda police patrol are much better!

Sloth Patrol 4 years ago

Get off our website and piss off back to africa

will Painter 4 years ago

anyone seen any good abi king's latley ?

rhys jowett 4 years ago

i saw a fit sheep earlier

Flock of sheep 4 years ago


Mikey ward 4 years ago

Does anyone want to buy a bag of kids from me ? 200 pounds, some might be dead.

Adolf Hitler 4 years ago


Rhys jowett 4 years ago

i love a good bowl of wheato's in the morning

Mikey Ward 4 years ago


Mikey Ward 4 years ago

Jowett and Laura are just good friends, aren't they?

Ollie Dalby 4 years ago

SJ is my life!

James Parker 4 years ago

I love Sophie Harby

Sophie Harby 4 years ago

Go away James

Three's A Crowd 4 years ago

This is now the offical Three's a crowd website please stop spamming it or yu will be prosucuted.

Lots of Love


Kanye west 4 years ago

Got my N*ggas in paris, and they going gorrila's

Three's A Crowd 4 years ago

Just been in the recording studio with Jay-Z! New album will be great! Stay away from drugs and stay in school kids.

Best Wishes


G-Unit 4 years ago

We love Threes a Crowd

Three's A Crowd 4 years ago

Look forward to working with you Kanye. Our tour details will be released soon. Thanks to all our fans. We love you!

Stay Safe


One Direction 4 years ago

Can we join Three's a crowd ?

Three's A Crowd 4 years ago

You guys aren't cool enough for us!

Love from Three's A Crowd

Justin bieber 4 years ago

Can i join three's a crowd too ?

Three's A Crowd 4 years ago

Hell No

From Gabbie

Tom Shing 4 years ago

I love rice

Tom Shing 4 years ago

Rice 4 life

Tom Shing 4 years ago

I'm married to a bag of rice

Ollie Dalby 4 years ago


rhys jowett 4 years ago

In Wales we hate three's a crowd but we love sheep!

Barak Obama 4 years ago

Heyy Up DuneCune's what's Occuring ? S'up Arabs

Liviegleekdancer 4 years ago

Protect It studying this in geography worst subject ever!!!!!! Waste of time!!!!!!

lolxxx cbyolo 4 years ago

you guys need a cares if its rubbish? it's an equal land on this earth and should be treated every human.. imagine if it was your homtown you guys will be fighting hell to save it those memoriesyou house whaever...get some emotion guys think of it as you being there (if you have the brains)


MOle 4 years ago

I Won't save it

dkd 4 years ago

oh my plz save happisburgh

pigni 4 years ago


sti 4 years ago


Mahogany God 3 years ago

You are all slutmuffins who love kids

Rebecca 3 years ago

I know this comment is a bit late but im doing a project on happisburgh and i think it should be saved because people will lose there homes and people should donate money so they can put defences up in the sea

mysterygirl101 3 years ago

happisburgh? i am also doing a project and i believe that happisburgh should be saved and that the council havan't done enough to support the villagers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

huii 3 years ago


C3O 3 years ago

all you people who are saying that happisburgh sucks and its terrible and that it's not worth saying should be ashamed of yourselves.... the only reason it's crappy is because no one's doing anything to help fix it.

hiiiiiii 3 years ago

please save happisburgh if it was you in the situation you would want people to help you! wouldn't you???

Josh Haywood 3 years ago

Anyone got any cheese

unknown 3 years ago

to any one who thinks this place is rubbish and thinks it is not worth saving. well maybe it is not... for you. but for other people this is home.

so be serious even 5 pounds can do a difference if every one from this blog could get to it.

this issue has been held down for too long its time to put it back in peoples mind.

i swear i will do my best to get a project going in school to collect as much money as possible.

RANDOMER 2 years ago


TF2 2 years ago


troll 2 years ago

boo happisburgh

kean bean 2 years ago

how about u and me in bed

mr beqn 2 years ago


2 years ago

Now i think Happisburgh should be saved. All you people who think that happisburgh is crap just shut the f up. k? I think it should be saved as its an historical place and is a beautiful place. The government decided not to save Happisburgh i think but they are selfish they don't care if the homeowners living there are happy or not they don't care if they are homeless or not they want to be living in a big house with heaters and everything when people in happisburgh would be in the streets in the cold is this fair SAVE HAPPISBURGH EVERYONE SAVE IT Its a beautiful place!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just save it many peoples businesses are relying on this village SAVE IT SAVE HAPPISBURGH EVERYONE

farthinnnnnnnnnnnnnnj 2 years ago

if that was u what would u do

Sxmmie 2 years ago

think about this Happisburgh is a home to many people some people might think it is a broing town that means nothing if it all got washed away but people will loose their homes and the government arent doing anything to help this hardly seems fair. So lets try our best to save this historic town because in a matter of months there will be no more happisburgh! :(

Swindon Town 2 years ago

u want sum happisburgh?!?!?!

ill giv it to ya 24 months ago

ill giv it to ya

wtf 22 months ago

wtf happisburgh should b saved

22 months ago


hi zach 22 months ago

i know where you are

happisburgh 22 months ago

hi zach i know where u r also happisburgh should not b saved

LAWL 22 months ago


LAWL 22 months ago

piers 22 months ago

i'm coming for ya!

bring it 22 months ago

come and get me piers

YOU GOT ME 22 months ago


bring it/happisburgh/hi zach 22 months ago

lol hahahahahha



Da Stalker 22 months ago


Yours sincerely,

Mr Stalker :)

Maggie Maggie moo moo 22 months ago

This is the real magnus now

shut up nick 22 months ago

shut up nick

(This one isn't real) Maggie Maggie moo moo 22 months ago

No i'm the real one(!) dur!

Shut up maggie 22 months ago

shut up maggie maggie moo moo who doesn't like being called maggie maggie moo moo which ever one u r cos loads of people are saying that they are u

P.S. they are almost all me so i do know which one is u

Maggie -Maggie-breadsticks-moo 22 months ago

It's me i'm the real one!

the beast 22 months ago

yay happisburgh

lol 22 months ago

lol maggie breadsticks moo thingy or whatever u're name is now

piers 22 months ago

who was that

nick 22 months ago

probably magnus

xur has the mica multi tool 22 months ago


From no name 7 weeks ago

This place is useless and doesn't need to be defended ......

lol 7 weeks ago

save it#

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