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Dunwich Walk from Dunwich Beach to Dunwich Heath and back  June 4 2006

 

The beach and cliffs - from north to South

 

 

 

Dunwich Beach 2000

 

Dunwich Beach 2001  taken  Sunday 13 May 2001

 

Dunwich Heath - the main areas of study in Spring 2002

 

Fieldwork in May 2002

Dunwich Beach -Wednesday and Thursday

Dunwich - tourism pressures

Dunwich - management practices

 

Fieldwork in May 2003

Beach photographs from Mon 20 May and Friday 23 May 2003

Photos from Mr Duncan of the tourist pressures

 

Fieldwork in May 2004 Sunday 16, Tuesday 25,  and Thursday 27 May

 

Dunwich Forest and Heath November 2004

Dunwich update April 2005

 

Dunwich  Beach Walk June 2006

Dunwich Heath June 2006

Dunwich cliff-top and Greyfriars

 

 

The walk from Dunwich Beach begins with the eroded steps to a hut overlooking the beach.

 

The view south shows a bay, starting at Walberswick in the north and ending past Sizewell nuclear power stations in the south, to Thorpeness.

 

The view north from Dunwich Beach. The beach becomes a thin bayhead bar, with Dingle Marshes inshore, gradually being infilled. The narrow beach has been broken, and repaired, in recent years.

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A sheep fence and sign indicate the dangerous nature of the cliffs, although they are well-vegetated here.

 

 

The cliff-top spot between the two dead bushes marks the line of a now-closed footpath from the road.

 

A minor cliff-fall pours through the fence; some vegetation on the beach proper indicates a previous fall.

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An older slip, shown by the fence now going over the fan of sand.

 

Another cliff-fall, covering a portion of vegetation on the lower slopes. Also of note is an orange painted hurdle - someone's fieldwork no doubt!

 

Old and new fencing at the site of the cliff-fall.

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Danger signs, both permanent and rushed .. to indicate the continuing risk of cliff falls at Dunwich - see right hand photo.

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Some photographs of  a cliff fall and of colonisation of the foreshore ... materials brought down, both soil and accompanying vegetation, probably has a role to play in this colonisation.

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Larger plants such as trees, die off in proximity to the cliff top as the water-table curves down to the beach.

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A gully is formed in the cliff and is then expanded; rainwater and gravity are the chief forces here, as the intact vegetation on the lower slopes of talus, indicate the cliff is not being actively eroded by the sea at present.

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A view over the width of the beach towards a section of cliff where a single species has become dominant. On the right is a rainwater gully in the making.

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What looked like some sinister invasive vegetation appears to be grass mowings! I'm still not convinced! The right-hand shot again shows the high cliffs vegetating and providing biologists with a good place to look at succession.

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Colonising the foreshore- with a newcomer, as yet unclassified, making a colourful addition!

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Access steps to the caravan park on the cliff top. My initial view, of environmental vandalism, was challenged by a long-term resident, who said the cliff had receded very little here and the steps were just replacements on the same site.

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Steps to Cliff House - camping and caravanning - on a very stable stretch of cliffs ... and just within the boundaries of NT Dunwich Heath the concrete foundations of a military building.

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Thickening layers of pebbles form a thick free-face to the cliffs, whilst vegetation is subjected to regular sand flows from above.

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Veins of  pebbles show in the cliffs within the NT boundary; they vary in thickness and in depth below the surface and are attributable to old beach deposits - or even old outwash streams. They play a dominant role in providing Dunwich, and all places to the south, with beach material.

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A view of the soil profile, with its layer of humus-rich sand above the yellow-tinged red crag.

 

Chocolate brown coloured boulders of humus-bound sand fall down the cliff - disturbing the other sediments, especially the very fine sand.

 

In contrast, a hundred yards or so further south, vegetation in the form of marram grass, and even some gorse, has smothered the cliff almost entirely.

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By standing close to the base of the cliff and sketching its cross-profile, many of the factors of the cliff's recession can be plotted.

 

A good marker over the past decade has been the sunken telegraph pole.

 

A detail of the cliff profile photograph - with humus boulders on the way down!

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The very southerly end of the cliffs is again characterised by a section of sheep fencing, as it is here in the past that visitors would clamber down an assortment of footpath tracks to the beach. Erosion has eliminated these routes in the main, however. Note the bracken colonising through the sand fan.

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A blocked-off footpath became a stream bed in downpours and has been encouraged, with limited success, to regenerate. In the centre the footpath has been left hanging by coastal erosion - and has regenerated. The right-hand shot is over the narrow dune system to the south of the cliffs, towards Sizewell.

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Fieldwork  2005

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