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Happisburgh  17 February 2008

 

North Norfolk and Happisburgh Index

 

www.happisburgh.org.uk

 

Upon first inspection the modest further erosion, and additional fencing off of the cliff top, was expected - not, however, the submergence of the old slipway under beach material!

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The cliffs to the north of Happisburgh is fretting back into the greensward, but the revetments show high upper-beach sediment levels.

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The cliffs display a good deal of moisture-driven mobility, slumping out over the beach ... which is drowning the pillbox by virtue of sand accumulation.

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The revetments indicate the beach accretion is limited to the upper levels whilst, probably, more recent tides have scoured the lower beach.

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The ironwork litter below the slipway was the focus of an attempted scrap-snatch recently.

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The basement clay has retreated only modestly, but the sands above continue their rapid retreat, bringing down debris from above.

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The current position of the tea rooms is seen in the centre, losing some garden by no structural loss as yet. Either side is the steelwork that has now been outflanked by further erosion.

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The flat and quite wide beaches of Happisburgh; the ones to the south of the promontory having a distinctive low cliff nicked into them from recent scouring.

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Here the break of slope is emphasised by the outlier of clay; these outliers becoming ever-more distinctive features on this beach.

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The strata of the honey-coloured sands show up in the midday sunshine, behind the more resistant clay basement; on the right is the unconformity between the sands and more recent glacial crag deposits sliding over them and partially burying the sands.

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Erosion behind the sheet-piling to the north of Cart Gap continues; the embayment is now a useful access point to climb back up the cliffs, as used by me and a lady walking her dogs! The Cart Gap defences have the prospect of being rolled up from behind, taking with them the holiday hoes above ... and leaving the Norfolk Broads open to the sea!

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The wide beach of the newly-enlarging Happisburgh Bay .

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Cliffs showing the ragged outlines of frayed grass, caused by recent falls.

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The cliff line has become more fretted in recent months. On the right is seen the line of a tractor track dating only from the last growing season!

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I did become fascinated by the increasingly fretted cliff top. and the disappearing lines of cultivation newly-taken by the sea.

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A couple of cliff failures were restricted to the upper part of the cliff only, rotating their material out over the cliff in a variation of a glacial hanging valley! The rip rap still does a job at the elbow in the coastline where Cliff Road ends so abruptly.

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Happisburgh Bay , showing the rip rap defences and erosion step in the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cliff Road - and the tea room was still open!

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The small remaining stump of headland is surrounded by the rip-rap and steel pole defences .. but now at a distance as the cliff has retreated.

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The loss of the headland means there is no longer a good observation point for photographs northwards, although there is some indication of an embayment forming. A low sill of clay is protecting the cliffs just to the south of the car park.

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Sneaking through the wire-mesh fencing gives a view to the south, left, and views across the field in both directions.

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Groundwater flows across the clay basement layers onto the beach. This is a striking exemplar of how this drift/clay boundary mobilises erosion processes and gives rise to cliff falls and mobile flows.

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Norfolk Happisburgh Beach Road  coast erosion defences neglect revetments rip rap groynes beaches lighthouse sea walls lifeboat station access leisure

 

North Norfolk and Happisburgh Index

 

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