A shocking map reveals the English coastal towns most likely to collapse into the sea as shores erode over the next 20 years.

Experts found that the east coast is being hardest hit, with the erosion rate the fastest in Yorkshire and the Humber, where 56 per cent of the coastline is at risk.

Alongside this, around a third of the coast in the south of England is being actively eroded — threatening such areas as Norfolk, Suffolk and East/West Sussex. 

The ongoing retreat of the shoreline will cause around 7,000 homes to disappear into the sea by the end of century, experts warn — unless more action is taken.

Protection is particularly needed in the counties of Norfolk, Tyne and Wear, Suffolk and Yorkshire over the next two decades.

Scroll down for video

A shocking map reveals the English coastal towns most likely to collapse into the sea as shores erode over the next 20 years

A shocking map reveals the English coastal towns most likely to collapse into the sea as shores erode over the next 20 years

Experts found that the east coast is being hardest hit, with the erosion rate the fastest in Yorkshire and the Humber, where 56 per cent of the coastline is at risk. Pictured, a road collapsing into the ocean at Skipsea Cliff, near Hornsea, in the East Riding of Yorkshire

Experts found that the east coast is being hardest hit, with the erosion rate the fastest in Yorkshire and the Humber, where 56 per cent of the coastline is at risk. Pictured, a road collapsing into the ocean at Skipsea Cliff, near Hornsea, in the East Riding of Yorkshire

The interactive map — which can be viewed online here — was commissioned by home insurance provider confused.com and uses data collected by the UK Environmental Agency’s National Coastal Erosion Risk Mapping project.

This is joined by statistics from the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership. 

The erosion figures are based on a scenario in which no active interventions are made to help halt the coastline’s retreat — and predicts the state of the UK’s vulnerable coastal areas over the next 20, 50 and 100 years.

READ  iPad confusion and Tory antics indicate lack of intelligent life on Earth | John Crace

Alongside the projected loss of thousands of homes, agency data also suggests that around 520,000 properties are presently in areas that are at risk of coastal flooding.

If no action is taken, experts warn, this figure could be trebled to around 1.5 million homes by the 2080s. 

According to UK environment minister Thérèse Coffey, ‘one in six people in England are already living in properties at risk of flooding.’

This hazard is exacerbated by coastal erosion, rising sea levels and climate change.

‘Coastal erosion has become one of the most worrying issues for UK homeowners in seaside towns,’ said Confused.com head of home Tom Vaughan.

‘Our research highlights the increasing risk that many coastal residents are facing, to the point where some are ultimately looking at losing their homes over the next 20 years.’

‘As land erodes, we could be seeing more expensive insurance premiums, as the danger of damage from climate change is higher than living inland.’

The map, he added, has been designed to help people living in areas with a high risk of erosion understand what this means for them. 

To this end, the map also reveals the average cost of rebuilding a home in each area to replace those lost to the sea. 

The ongoing retreat of the shoreline will cause around 7,000 homes to disappear into the sea by the end of century, experts warn ¿ unless more action is taken. Pictured, a collapsed section of shoreline at South Cliff, Hornsea, in the East Riding of Yorkshire

The ongoing retreat of the shoreline will cause around 7,000 homes to disappear into the sea by the end of century, experts warn — unless more action is taken. Pictured, a collapsed section of shoreline at South Cliff, Hornsea, in the East Riding of Yorkshire

READ  Mars rover's large methane discovery excites scientists

WHICH PARTS OF THE ENGLISH COASTLINE WILL BE THE WORST HIT BY EROSION?

The following areas of England’s coastline will be the worst hit by erosion:

COASTAL AREA:

1. Happisburgh, Norfolk

2. Kessingland, Suffolk

3. Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire

4. Withernsea, East Riding of Yorkshire

5. Sunderland, Tyne & Wear

6. Filey, North Yorkshire

7. Camber, East Sussex

Pevensey Bay, East Sussex

Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex

Bognor Regis, West Sussex

 LAND ERODED AFTER 20 YEARS:

318 feet (97m)

230 feet (70m)

223 feet (68m)

200 feet (61m)

131 feet (40m)

131 feet (40m)

131 feet (40m)

131 feet (40m)

131 feet (40m)

131 feet (40m)

Alongside the projected loss of thousands of homes, data also suggests that around 520,000 properties are presently in areas that are at risk of coastal flooding. Pictured, the end of the road in Happisburgh, Norfolk, where washouts swept away a coastal street

Alongside the projected loss of thousands of homes, data also suggests that around 520,000 properties are presently in areas that are at risk of coastal flooding. Pictured, the end of the road in Happisburgh, Norfolk, where washouts swept away a coastal street

According to the researchers, the worst hit town in the UK is likely to by Happisburg, in Norfolk.

The town is predicted to lose around 318 feet (97m) of coastal land in the next two decades — the equivalent length to two football pitches.

10,377 houses presently stand in the local NR12 postcode — and 35 homes have already been lost due to cliff collapse.

What is coastal erosion? How tides and geology mean some areas are far more at risk of being washed away

The occurrence of coastal erosion is dependent upon the balance between the resistance, or erodibility, of the coastline and the strength, or erosivity, of the waves and tides affecting the area. 

READ  Egypt's oldest pyramid is saved from collapse

These conditions are, in turn, reliant upon a number of factors, including topography, the composition and structure of the geological formations exposed at the coast, the state of man-made coastal defences, local currents and tidal range, wave climate (as characterised by wave height, period, direction and fetch), groundwater, sediment supply, and relative sea level.

Consequently, rates of coastal erosion and accretion are very variable at regional, national and international scales. 

Coastal erosion typically results in a landward retreat of the coastline. This can increase the risk of coastal flooding and result in loss of land and damage to buildings, infrastructure and agricultural land.

Sudden coastal erosion events, particularly those in the vicinity of coastal cliffs, may directly endanger the lives of people. The movement of salt-water into freshwater areas (saline intrusion) can occur during coastal flooding and can impact upon the biodiversity of previously freshwater or terrestrial ecosystems. 

It has been estimated that across England and Wales 113,000 residential properties, 9,000 commercial properties and 5,000 hectares of agricultural land are within areas potentially at risk of coastal erosion, which translate to a capital value of assets at risk of approximately £7.7billion for England and Wales (DEFRA, 2001).   



READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here