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The Sea is eating Happisburgh
Coastal Erosion in Happisburgh
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 devastationClick thumbnail to view full-size
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...