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Work to rebuild West Norfolk coastal flood defences underway



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Work has been taking place to rebuild natural flood defences on part of the West Norfolk coast.

Around 14,000 tonnes of sand and shingle is taken from Snettisham to restore ridges along the coastline at Heacham and Hunstanton in an annual process known as beach recycling.

But Environment Agency officials say the work has taken longer than usual this year because of what they say was minor damage caused during the recent storms.

Contractors rebuild the flood defences at Snettisham. Pictures: Environment Agency (55382316)
Contractors rebuild the flood defences at Snettisham. Pictures: Environment Agency (55382316)

The ridge protects more than 800 properties and 4,000 caravans along a three-mile section of coast.

Stephen Green, Environment Agency flood and coastal risk advisor for Norfolk, said: “Beach recycling helps protect this section of the county’s coastline in a sustainable, cost-effective way. It’s a simple idea but one that can make a big difference in protecting the communities living along it.

“We’ve invested £2.6 billion in the past six years to better protect the country from flooding and coastal erosion, including from the sea.

Contractors rebuild the flood defences at Snettisham. Pictures: Environment Agency (55382313)
Contractors rebuild the flood defences at Snettisham. Pictures: Environment Agency (55382313)

“Another £5.2bn will be spent in the next six years, helping protect hundreds of thousands of properties.”‎

The work is funded by the East Wash Coastal Management Community Interest Company which raises funds from the local community, caravan park owners and landowners. Anglian Water and West Norfolk Council also contribute.

Paul Kunes, borough council cabinet member for environment, said: “Restoring the shingle ridges between Hunstanton and Snettisham helps to protect people and wildlife living on the coast in West Norfolk.

“We’re proud that we support the annual beach recycling programme, which is an effective means of undertaking important flood defence work to maintain the defences along the Snettisham to Hunstanton coastline.”



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