Coastline Management of Hengistbury Head and Dorset Coastline

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What are five key reasons for protecting Hengistbu

1 It is eroding.

2 It is of environmental importance: 50% of all species of vegetation in the UK are found here.

It is a nature reserve.

A site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

It has a wide range of habitats, eg heathland marsh and woodland.

It has rare animals, eg the natterjack toad.

3 It is economically important.

It employs 20 full time people.

It brings a lot of money to the local economy through tourists who spend money at B&Bs hotels, shops and cafes.

4 Socially important.

It is popular for walking groups.

Beach hut owners have their own community.

5 It is archaeologically important.

In the ironage it was used as a trading port and artifacts such as arrowheads are still being discovered.

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What measures are being taken to protect Hengistbu

1 A series of groynes have been built including the longest, known as "The Long Groyne" in 1938 and measuring 215m.

2 A wall of gabions have been built to protect the double dykes which have archaeological importance and also prevent coastal flooding as there are no cliffs on this part of the coastline.

3 Riprap has been put down to protect the cliffs.

4 Marram grass has been planted to stabilise Mudeford Spit and the sand dunes.

5 A cascade which is simlar to a staircase has been built into the cliff to prevent surface run off causing too much gullying.

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What are the resulting effects of coastline manage

1 The Long Groyne has successfully widened the beach, therefore protecting the cliffs.

2 The Gabions have been a success enabling archaeological finds to still occur.

3 The cliffs are entact where the riprap is in place.

4 The spit is stable despite several large storms in the past decade.

5 Surface run off erosion by the cascade has been reduced.

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What are possible conflicts of coastline managemen

1 Some people believe the sea defences cause visual intrusion.

2 Some people complain they cannot walk wherever they like as some areas are fenced off, eg where the natterjack toad lives.

3 Some nearby residents argue it is a waste of public money to save an area where no one lives so no houses are being saved whilst millions of pounds are being spent.

4 Footpath erosion has caused problems for the vegetation through trampling.

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