One of the tasks we undertake in our role as coastal managing agents for The Crown Estate is to assess the changes to the East Anglian coast resulting from erosion and the other coastal processes.
At the end of WW2 many of the anti-invasion defences such as coils of barbed wire were removed from the beaches and ploughed into the fields. In areas where the coast is receding some of these items are now appearing on the beaches. Other structures such as pill boxes and observation posts have collapsed onto the beach when the cliffs eroded. In some places coastal erosion has caused a fall in the beach and items previously buried by sand or shingle are now exposed.
The Crown Estate maintains a risk register and when such items are brought to our attention we record them and carry out regular inspections. Because the East coast is highly active we sometimes find that problems are soon washed out to sea. A change in the coastal processes can result in accretion rather than erosion and items become re-covered and the risk reduces. Large pieces of concrete such as the remains of a pill box are unsightly and can appear alarming. However, they often present no greater risk than rocks.
If one of Sam Morley’s gundogs is off duty they make a good companion for this task. Recently multiple field trial winner Harry joined my inspecting this old tank trap at Kessingland.
Article written by Peter Riches FRICS