Engineers begin West Norfolk coast shingle bank repairs

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Engineers will today begin annual maintenance work on the shingle flood defence banks along the coastline between Snettisham and Hunstanton.

The three-week project, which is expected to cost around £150,000 to complete, is the last to be wholly funded by government money as a new local funding initiative comes into force.

And council leaders have warned the community-based work must continue to ensure the repairs can continue in the years ahead.

Workers will move around 5,000 cubic metres of sand and shingle to re-inforce the defences in a process known as beach recycling.

The work is taking place now to repair damage caused during the winter and ahead of both the tourist and bird breeding seasons.

Ryan Ely, flood and coastal risk advisor for the Environment Agency, said: “This is the most sustainable way to protect the coast in this location.”

A community interest company (CIC) has been established to co-ordinate fundraising for the repairs to continue beyond this year.

Sufficient funds have already been generated for scheme to be repeated in 2017, through the work of the East Wash Coastal Management CIC, together with contributions from other organisations and a reduced government grant.

Brian Long, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for environment, said: “Beach recycling is vital work that must be done to protect West Norfolk’s coastline/

“We’ve worked hard to prepare for the future. However, we will need to keep working with the CIC and our partners to raise money to ensure the work continues beyond 2017.”

Notices will be placed along the banks to notify visitors that the work is taking place. For more information, phone the Environment Agency’s customer services line on 03708 506506.