First 476 words of the document:
Happisburgh case study.
Where is Happisburgh?
Happisburgh is located in the south east of England in the county
Why is Happisburgh so vulnerable?
Happisburgh is vulnerable because it is located on soft rocks such as clay,
which are susceptible to quicker erosion. This is eroded easily by the waves in the North Sea, which
are powerful due to the large fetch they have. Also, dredging of the sea bed has resulted in deeper
water, in which waves are more powerful. The existing costal defences (wooden revetments) are
dated and therefore are not working to their full potential.
Existing costal defences
Revetments which are fence like structures. They let sea water and sediment pass through but they
absorb the waves' energy. These reduce the force at which the sea hits the cliff, therefore slowing
down erosion. Also, the residents and council raised money in order to buy 6,000 tonnes of granite
rock, which is igneous and will erode slowly. This has been placed along the coast in the hope that the
sea will erode that before the cliff.
Potential impacts of further erosion
If erosion continues, more housing will be lost, which may result in some people becoming homeless.
The economic impacts of this include the fact that it could be costly for the residents and the
insurance companies should they need re-housing, however, many of the properties do not have
insurance because of their position. Previously, an average house in Happisburgh would have been
worth £80,000, but now they are worth under £1, because the coast is not properly defended.
Furthermore, in the village, there is a grade 1 listed church which is currently 60m away from the
coast. It is predicted that by 2020 it will be in the sea.
Local residents say that they are worried about coastal erosion because they cannot insure their
properties, meaning they are likely to become homeless when the coast erodes further. They also
say that when they moved into the area, they wanted a better sea view, and now there is nothing
disrupting it because it has been eroded away. On the other hand, some residents are happy about
getting easy mortgages. Government spokesmen have said that they are now spending more on
coastal defence than ever before, however they will not protect Happisburgh because of the small
population and the fact that other areas may benefit more from the money.
Why Happisburgh won't be saved.
The government won't replace the outdated revetments because they say that the village is not
valuable enough to warrant saving, despite the fact that it is one of the fastest eroding areas of