SLN  geoforum





The Geography Department





Covehithe   June 2000


Covehithe   June 2000

Covehithe   February 2002  rapid gullying and further cliff recession .. also a look at Benacre.
Covehithe   November 19 2004


Easton Bavents 19 November  2004

Easton Bavents and North Southwold   June 2006


Easton Bavents, Southwold, Dunwich & Sizewell  December 2008

Southwold to Kessingland via Easton Bavents and Covehithe  5 September 2009

1 - Southwold pier and town defences to Mr Boggis' defences

2 - Easton cliffs and Broad to Covehithe Broad

3 - Covehithe cliffs to Benacre Broad and towards Kessingland - and back


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The end of the road at Covehithe. A barrier is placed twenty yards back, preventing vehicles from ending up on the beach! The very sandy cliffs are well in evidence, as are the hedge lines, both for the road and along the far side of the field. View is northwards.


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Looking southwards, back towards the previous photo. The skyline shows Southwold, and, just visible through the haze, the outline of Sizewell. Such has been the rapidity of the cliff-falls that quite a manageable slope has resulted. The figure on the cliff top awaits the return of her companion, who has just run down the loose sands to the beach! 


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Looking northwards again, the sea has taken this season's established footpath. Now the trees on the skyline are the best markers of the rate of coastal retreat. Sandy slumps, coloured a darker brown, clutter the beach, but will be removed shortly.


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The process of cliff-falls is underway; the cracks indicate another small embayment is being formed, and walkers need to be on the cautious side!


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This says it all! 


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Covehithe   12 February 2002




The field at the end of the road past Covehithe is occupied by pigs, fenced well back from the crumbling cliff-line.




Covehithe church can be seen on the horizon, only one complete field away. The gully is easily eroded by rainfall run-off and leads to a final cliff-step of just two metres before the beach is reached.


The familiar cliff line now has gullying to break up this regular feature. The first incursion is minor, but the second goes down almost to beach level. A third gully is hidden by a fold in the land.

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The gully, sea and a little beach is showing.


The gully holds vertical sides, and reveals sharp changes in the nature of the underlying sand strata.


At the foot of the cliff active wind winnowing is going on, building the feature shown above. Although it does not show well on still pictures, the air was full of sand.

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The second large gully north of the road was a little higher in its sea cliff. Note the low cliff of eroded sand at high water mark.


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Cliff collapse was largely without the characteristic slumping of clay/sand cliffs. Here the fine sand just fails vertically and large blocks fall.

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A rather large lump of organic material, presumably from the woodland that fringes Benacre on its southern flank.


More of the carbon black lumps, and a tree stump in the foreground.


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A look at a typical section of cliff near the gullied sections of the coast.


A close-up of the pebbles lens cross bedded with fine sands of varying colouration.


A end of the cliffs at Benacre. A low step of clay is just visible.

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Dead trees mark the approach to Benacre. Presumably rapid cliff retreat has allowed the water table to fall suddenly and the trees are left without moisture .. in very

 light land.


The lagoon is a haven for birds, and the site is owned by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Birdwatchers patrol the shoreline; there is a hide just to the left of this picture.


Benacre is a very photogenic location!


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Suffolk Covehithe Benacre Broad coasts erosion  beach cliffs agriculture pigs