Geography AS Unit 1 Case Studies

Geography AS Unit 1 Case Studies

BOSCOMBE, Bournemouth

Declining Seaside Resort – part of Bournemouth, experiencing a rebranding scheme.

The focus is upon sport & leisure led rebranding.

The scheme is costing £10 million & is trying to turn Boscombe into an upmarket location.

 It features an artificial reef made of sandbags dredged from the seabed – makes waves break further off shore – will attract surfers who spend 8% more than the average visitor. Hoped the reef will act as a catalyst for regeneration. Expected to double Boscombe’s good surfing days from 153 to 306!

 Hoping to turn Boscombe into a property hotspot... Barrat Homes’ Honeycombe Beach Development – 169 waterfront apartments costing £350,000 - £950,000 each! 42 ‘super chalets’ – upmarket beach huts available for daily hire.

 The pier is being reconstructed, along with a new spa village. Includes restaurants, shops & widespread landscaping work. The reef will provide opportunity for sport other than surfing including windsurfing – a wide age-range attracted.

 Boscombe entered a spiral of decline in 1960’s as package holidays became cheaper & more widely available. Victorian houses were split into bedsits which attracted drug users. Social problems have only worsened since – a lady found 13 discarded needles on the beach where her children were playing.

 Boscombe’s Sorted Surf Shop is investing over £300,000 in new premises, store fit-out and warehousing. This Surf Shop opened in 2000 and has won the contracts to supply both a surf shop and school, complete with water sports and surf equipment hire.

 Bournemouth’s surfing image is set to rival Newquay and Bude.

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DIBDEN DAY, Southampton

Controversial proposal to build new container port on SSSI site. Would cost £700 million and take 9 years to build, covering 350 hectare. Would be capable of handling 6 container ships at once.


*      The location is one of the UK’s best natural harbours, with deepwater channels for large ships.

*      There is area on the banks of the estuary for further development.

*      On major international shipping route.

*      Would keep Southampton economy competitive and provide 3000 jobs.

*      A new access road and rail link would be built.


*      Five SSSI’s would be destroyed having severe implications upon 50,000 water birds.

*      Increased risk of oil spills & pollution threatening ecosystems & water quality.

*      Noise & air pollution would increase.

*      Conflicts between stakeholders/ land users regarding water space for marinas & leisure craft.

The plan was rejected by transport minister in 2004. The need for a port was recognised however Dibden was deemed unsuitable as costs outweighed benefits. This came as a surprise to many and was probably influenced by petitions from RSPB & Friends of the Earth.

Also the site is on the edge of the New Forest Heritage Area, and inside the proposed boundary of the New Forest National Park.

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*      World Heritage Site with many SSSI’s

*      95 miles from East Devon to Dorset

*      17 million visitors per year

*      185 millions years of Earth’s geological history recorded in fossils.

 Key tension – environmental conservation vs. economic development. Many groups of stakeholders have a viewpoint as how to best manage to coastline, these include…

Local residents, the National Trust, Fishermen, Landowners, Private Developers, County Councils, UNESCO, Sunbathers & Tourists.

The amount of tourists means that there is continuous demand for more caravan parks/ campsites. Other effects of tourism include…

Erosion of coastal paths, Habitat disturbance, Litter, Pollution, Seasonal unemployment and Overcrowded ‘honey-pot’ sites.

 Place along the Jurassic Coast:

 Pennington Point: 9 high value properties on Cliff Road, Sidmouth. Erosion rate increased 5 times to between 1.2 and 1.7 metres per year due to Terminal Groyne Syndrome – homes will need to be demolished within 20 years to avoid collapsing into the sea as cliffs erode. It’s thought the erosion has been sped up due to the two rock groynes put in place in 1995 to protect Sidmouth starving Pennington Point of its sediment. Homeowners want protection but UNESCO say the World Heritage Site would be ruined from a scientific perspective. Issue here is to hold the line or roll back the coast.

 Isle of Portland Quarry: (conflict) Long history of Quarrying. It is a peninsular in Dorset whose stone has been exported all over the world. Plans were to reopen the old quarry (with permission granted in 1951 but never used) but there was a PROTEST & 2000 local residents signed a petition against it so it didn’t continue, avoiding £77 million worth of stone being quarried – it was said the quarry would ruin a beautiful part of the Jurassic coastline & bring no benefits, however it may have provided around 80 new jobs for 30 years of work.

 Studland Bay: Owned by the National Trust and is a SSSI nature reserve, also home to a nudist beach. 25,000 visitors can be expected on a summer’s day! With most visitors arriving by car, there are 4 main car parks providing 2,500 spaces – an insufficient amount for all the visitors… Congestion becomes a major issue. The many visitors cause various problems including litter, trampling of sand dunes and noise pollution.

Conservation vs. Economic development. Many actions have been taken to protect the dunes, environment etc at Studland Bay by the National Trust.

 Boscombe: Dilapidated run down seaside resort – Rebranding in into the Newquay of the South West. £1.4 million artificial surf reef acting as an offshore breakwater to create 13ft waves! £9 million on new waterfront apartments. Sport/ leisure centres.

 Also along the Jurassic Coast that rebranding schemes can take advantage of:

 *      Weymouth – site of 2012 Olympic Sailing Events

*      Land features such as Old Harry Rocks

*      Fishing – Important fishing grounds that sustains 400 ships

*      Ferry services at Poole Harbour

*      600 known shipwrecks for deep sea divers

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Holderness faces the North Sea and is currently the fastest eroding coastline in the whole of Europe. The coastline is a stretch of land of about 50km from the chalk cliffs at Flamborough Head up to Spurn Head, where a large spit protects the entrance to the Humber Estuary.


*      Part of the Holderness sediment cell

*      Fastest eroding coastline in the Europe with an average erosion rate of 2m/ year

*      Made of boulder clay which is very weak and is easily washed away

*      Affected by destructive waves which have gained energy from Atlantic Ocean Currents

*      Deep sea floor meaning waves hit coast without being weakened by friction

 Different places need different plans as to how best to manage the rates of erosion:

 Hornsea: Small holiday coastal resort – Population 8243. Losing beach due to LSD & winter storms. Wooden groynes were built to trap the sediment carried by the LSD, helping to keep the beach in place and therefore protect the town. However as always with wooden groynes, they affect the area further down this coast, depriving them of their sediment. In this case Mappleton…

 Mappleton: Suffering from Terminal Groyne Syndrome & sediment starvation due to wooden groynes at Hornsea… Residents’ campaigned so 2 granite rock groynes were built in 1991 by the Humberside Council costing £2 million.

 Great Cowden: Knock on Terminal Groyne Syndrome from Mappleton, starving the coastline of its sediment. Erosion rate rose from 2.5m per year to 3.8m per year. However, the land wasn’t valuable enough to make further protection viable. The ‘do nothing’ of coastal management was taken leaving home owners to lose their land to the sea.

 Withernsea: Like Hornsea, a coastal resort. An integrated coastal management scheme has been implemented here featuring a recurved sea wall and rock armour. The ‘hold the line’ approach was taken after a cost: benefit analysis showed that protection was economically viable due to the value of the land that would be protected.

 Easington Gas Terminal: worth a lot of money, was decided to hold the line and build revetments (walls of granite boulders).

 Spurn Point Spit: Biodiversity nature reserve, curving around mudflats behind. 6km stretch, one of UK’s busiest life guard centres at tip, responding to trouble in Humber estuary. Aged wooden groynes. Cost: Benefit Analysis weighted up intangible loss of nature reserve with cost of defences… A controversial decision of ‘Do Nothing’ was decided upon.


Coastal Zoning/ Red Lining is a device used by planners to divide coast into areas where costs exceed benefits and refuse planning permission.

Coastal engineers now realise that acting in just one place affects others around the coastline. UK coastline is split into 11 sediment cells within which sediment in circulated. Engineers now consider a whole cell or sub cell when thinking about SMP’s (shoreline management plans). They devise plans which will work well for the whole coast.

 SLUMPINGmass movement process – Alternate wetness & dryness causes expansion and shrinking of cliff material, can not support heavy wet clay which slides down the side of the cliff. It collects as the base of the cliff and is washed away by the sea. 

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 *      Florida has been subject to Coastalisation.

*      75% of population live along the coastline and this number is still increasing.

*      Value of property estimated at $9 trillion!

Florida is the “sunshine state”, and its beautiful beaches & idyllic scenery make it a tourist hotspot. There are hot temperatures all year round due to the tropical climate & this makes it a very attractive place to live. Its physical shape (a peninsular) means that wherever you are, you are near the beach. The majority of inwards migrants consist of families and retired people.

 HOWEVER: The vast amount of people & property has had implications upon the environment. The Florida Everglades Wetland has shrunk by 80% due to prime coastal land demand. Florida is also a low lying country, therefore flood risk is high (9% is less than 2m above sea level). Hurricanes are also common. The number of people at risk from these hazards increases as the population increases. 

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*      Spain’s “Costa Geriatrica” & the attractions of holidaying in Spain vs.…

*      Britain’s coastal resorts – declining in popularity as people choose to holiday abroad.

65% of the entire Mediterranean coastline is urbanised & it is predicted that there will be 135 million living on the coastline by 2025. 22% of coastal dwellers are 65+ as the med is a hotspot for retirement. The rise of package holidays meant that ordinary people could afford to go abroad to places like Spain. Traditional seaside holidays have become unusual. Price differences between going abroad and staying in the UK have got smaller and resorts such as Benidorm offer aspects of British culture e.g. clubs & bars.

 Problems include: loss of cultural identity, problems with resources like having enough water, environmental impacts of so many flights & a regressive population pyramid. 

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