The Geography Department






Happisburgh  15 February 2006


North Norfolk and Happisburgh Index





Near the car park (where the toilets are locked, but at least the payment meter is not working either!) the cliff of crag is grading itself down to the clay, and provides the visitor with the first glimpses of the stark beach scene.

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The destruction of the revetment skeleton continues; none of these structures have been disassembled, they have been destroyed by wave action. The derisory amount of rip-rap stone can be seen on the right.

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The RNLI have been unable to launch from the ramp for a year or so, and now their building is increasingly under threat. More cliff erosion will be monitored by the position of the beach steps.

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The makeshift defence, of rip rap against wrecked revetments, now serves only as an eyesore, as does the isolated and abandoned beachward end of the lifeboat ramp.

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To the north lies the open view of sandy beaches and (more or less) complete revetment defences. The groynes have been effective in reducing the rate of longshore drift as seen by the small bays and promontories created between the barriers.

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A trio of revetment photographs; although it was low tide sea energy was high.

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The new steps to the beach from the old slipway; revetments under wave attack, and steelwork that has fallen prey to the waves.

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Three more photos of the mayhem below what remains of Sea Road.

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Steel revetment supports cut off by wave action.


The clay horizon is always clear, marked by a shelf over a remarkably sandy beach.


The low ridge of sinking rip rap.

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Sea View (the guest house and the right hand semi) is being attacked through the gardens of its neighbours; its garden was still relatively intact at this time. More wells, and quite a few have been exposed, continue to be discovered.

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Some reference shots of the new beach; I hope the church tower sticking out of the centre shot will not be needed in my lifetime!

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Views taken to the north, from the precarious vantage point of the promontory seen in the photos below. The cliffs are closing in on the corner of the semi-detached houses.

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The scaffolding poles at its base have been wonderfully successful in resisting the sea, but the outpost is crumbling and its end will be sudden, I believe.

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From beach level the scaffolding corner is close to running out of time; the right hand shot shows the crag, the clay and an opening in the bed of rusting steel.

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More of the zone of destruction, as the embayments behind the inadequate rip rap, expand and take the housing stock down.

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When this corner is no more, the effects upon the bay to the south might well be dramatic. The waves will be able to sweep in unhindered from the east to north-north east, and I predict a rapid deepening of the embayment.

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The rip-rap here will soon be a total irrelevance, as the sea will enter the bay from the north-east.


The loss of the concrete garden path is almost complete.


One of a number of photos towards the church.

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A sticky field's edge, with the marker (250 metres to the lighthouse) showing in the centre shot, and the outwash from a cliff fall marking the beach on the right.

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The cliffs near the last bungalows, with recent falls and the dramatic mobile flow across the beach.

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More photos of the outwash, which begs the question - 'Where was the last high tide?'

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A trio of images along the fretted cliff line.

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The northern part of the beach, with many small embayments and a collection of clay 'stacks'!

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More views of the Red Crag, and its boundary with the clays.

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The loss of the footpath indicates recent falls - and a further shot of the resistant beach clays.

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A well-incised gully etched almost parallel to the coast. The clay hills on the beach might well deflect wave action to cause such features.

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Two photographs of a  section of unharvested beet, flanking a view towards the lighthouse, with reference pillboxes.

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Beach cusps highlighted by patterns in the stones and weeds.

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Isolated outliers of clay litter the beach.




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At the southern end of the new Happisburgh Bay, the piling protecting the end of the sea wall at  Cart Gap has been outflanked further.



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Norfolk Happisburgh Beach Road coast erosion gullying defences neglect revetments rip rap groynes beaches lighthouse sea walls lifeboat station access leisure beach cusps mobile flows weathering mass moveent


North Norfolk and Happisburgh Index