Investigating the Management of Flooding and Erosion Risks at Minehead and Porlock, West Somerset.

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Dan Grist
Investigating the Management of Flooding and Erosion Risks at Minehead
and Porlock, West Somerset.
In 1997 a £12.6 million integrated coastal defence scheme was introduced at Minehead;
both hard and soft engineering strategies are being used to `hold the line' against erosion
and flooding. 70% of the cost was paid by the holiday resort `Butlins' which is therefore a
key stakeholder of these management strategies.
A concave splash back sea wall which is 1800 metres in
length was rebuilt in 1990; 0.6 metres higher than the
original, the waves get reflected back into the sea
protecting the land behind. 800 metres of rock armour
helps to reinforce the sea wall, this absorbs the energy
from the wave before it reaches the sea wall behind.
There are 4 rock groynes which are all around 600m in
length, these help to retain the beach by attempting to reduce the effect of longshore drift
and therefore creating larger beaches which zap the energy from the waves. The size of the
beaches has also increased due to beach
nourishment schemes which involved importing
320,000 tonnes of sand onto the depleted beaches.

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Dan Grist
A cost benefit analysis is often used by DEFRA and the environmental agency to find out
which management strategy would be most suitable. This analysis compares the cost of the
defences with the benefits (value of land and property) that will be protected.
Defence Scheme Length/Number Approx. cost per Maintenance cost Cost over 10
unit/metre (£) per metre/unit year period.…read more

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Dan Grist
E.g. £28,200,000 ÷ £13,500,000 = 2.08
Minehead's key stake holders e.g. Butlins and the environmental agency, can use the
cost-benefit ratio in order to decide which management strategy should be used; in this
case a `hold the line' strategy was used as the benefits outweigh the costs of building the
defences e.g. the curved sea wall. If this result was negative then the most sustainable
option would have been to do nothing or `managed retreat'.…read more

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Dan Grist
therefore carrying out these methods several times throughout the year would be an
F) Secondary research is information that has been gathered by researchers and recorded in books,
articles, and other publications. Therefore secondary research data available to investigate the
flooding and erosion risk in Minehead and Porlock could be found in local newspapers e.g. the West
Somerset gazette, news archives on the internet and local government websites e.g. These all provide information on recent management decisions
and coastal defence issues.…read more

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Dan Grist
groyne fails to trap sediment effectively. If there were to be defences put in place, there
would be huge disruption to locals and businesses as the natural beauty of the village is what
brings tourists to the area, construction only deterring them away. Construction would also
have been very controversial with conservationists as Porlock is a site of Special Scientific
Interest.…read more


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