What is the issue?
Over the past year, FOHP has become increasingly concerned about the erosion that is continually eating away at the eastern end of the park ( the shoreline east of the Outdoor Education Centre). At one particular point over the past 12 months, a scallop has been scoured out 20 feet (6 meters) into the park.
If something is not done to overcome the problem, it is likely that the small bridge and the newly installed tarmac path will be severely damaged by erosion within the next few years.
The erosion has already undermined the foundations of the new footpath in places and is also eating away at the approach to the footbridge over the culvert.
The erosion affects the whole of the eastern shoreline. In the longer term, the entire area is under threat – and this will include the base of the new footbridge over the railway. There is now just 85 feet (25 meters) between the edge of the newly eroded scallop and the footbridge.
The erosion is not going to go away – the reason the Environment Agency installed the flood defence wall along the rear perimeter of the park in 2005 was to combat their forecast of future higher tides.
What has FOHP done?
We reported these issues to Council Officers in the spring and also to our local Councillors. So far, the Council have asked their Environmental Services Department to ascertain the legality of putting rocks or other protective material on the beach in this area. This is as far as we have got and we will keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.
Whilst the installation of a line of rocks or something similar would certainly help it may not be the long-term solution. We don’t have the answers, but we do know that something needs to be done to protect this beautiful, natural area of the park. We will continue to monitor the erosion and to keep the issue on the Council’s radar. We hope that timely action can be taken and that we do not lose more of the eastern end to erosion when the autumn and winter storms hit this year.
But it’s not all doom and gloom!
Here are some clumps of wildflowers on the shoreline at the eastern end – perhaps a natural solution to the erosion issue could be considered? Who knows!