SLN  geoforum





The Geography Department





Highcliffe, Naish Farm and Barton-on-Sea  October 2001


Barton-on-Sea May & August 2000

Barton-on-Sea October 2001

Barton-on-Sea 25 October 2010


Highcliffe - the defended coast 
21 October 2001



Dr Ian West's Geology field pages on Highcliffe, Naish Farm and Barton

Highcliffe and Naish Farm Estate on multimap





The boundary between defended and natural sections of this part of the Hampshire coast is marked by a pair of groynes, either side of the outlet of  Chewton Bunny.


The clays and gravel mix as they slide into the beach zone, a mixture termed 'colluvium'. The scale of the slippage is evident from the human scale object.



Groyne H12 marks the boundary between the Borough of Christchurch and New Forest District Council, who preside over the wasteland in centre shot.

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The undercliff roadway is quite wide, enough for heavy diggers at least, and is used to facilitate maintenance on the rock armour of the groynes and beach material between them.


A large car park provides good accommodation for fieldworkers wishing to visit this site. there is a toilet and observation pavilion, and ice creams in season. Access is via the traffic lights in central  Highcliffe, opposite G&T's!


A rock groyne, H12, below the car park. The width of the undercliff is evident.



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A luxury house, with an unpleasantly short garden to the cliff top, here reinforced around a drainage works, and concrete pipework.


More exclusive dwellings, adding weight to the defended coast argument. Such properties will contribute highly to the cost-benefit analysis equation.


The drainage channels on the lower part of the cliff at Highcliffe.


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The managed slopes, drainage works, and rock groyne system at Highcliffe.


Beach material at the top of the beach.



Cusps have developed in the short embayments between rock groynes.

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Diggers resting over the weekend, parked defensively. Behind lies the Isle of Wight and The Needles.


Rip rap, machinery, drainage channels and cliff top houses .. from the bottom.


The undercliff road, essential for regular maintenance of rock groynes and shingle beaches alike.

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Naish Farm Estate






Naish Farm Holiday Estate lies between the protected zones of Highcliffe and Barton-on-Sea. the cliff is a SSSI, a site of special scientific interest, largely to geologists, as the eroding coastline is constantly generating fresh exposures.


From the western edge of the holiday park, the awful gash of chaotic cliff falls, liberally saturated by recent rain, stretches towards Barton.

24 October 2001


Towards the sea's edge the slides continue; I think I detect a shear plane in this shot!

24 October 2001

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Towards the west and Highcliffe, the terminal rock groynes of the defences give way to the receding Naish Farm coast.


3 October 2001



A close up of the groynes from the cliff top in Naish Farm.

23 October 2001


The holiday chalets are visible here, as are pipes leading to the abyss. Clearly the value of such assets are not accorded the value of luxury homes, although they probably bring in more cash to the area in general!

23 October 2001

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An abandoned service road in Naish Farm.

23 October 2001


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A close-up of the waters ponded on the debris flow.


23 October 2001


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Rotational slumps nearing the eastern edge of Naish Farm.

24 October 2001




A series of slumps in Naish Farm, looking towards Highcliffe.

23 October 2001




Two chalets have been abandoned to their fate, and are boarded up. the nearest chalet has 1 metre of clearance left. In the clefts below lie a pair of picnic tables .. just out of shot.

24 October 2001

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Barton Cliffs  23 October 2001


Barton-on-Sea on multimap





The boundary of Naish Farm runs along the cliff top here, but the recent slumping appears quite as regular as further west.


The end of the middle level roadway on Barton Cliffs, just below the public toilets above.


Displaced sheet metal piling and  the surface water build up reveals the cause as well as the extent of the slippages here.

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A drainage ditch , probably constructed to remove liquid from this area, which has seen considerable slumping.


A roadway has collapsed completely at his point, and slithered off down the hill. Note the crevasses in the road surface itself.


A zoom in on the last shot will reveal sheet metal piling which has been swept down slope, impotent to restrain the slumping.

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The roadway from the western-most access road.



Over the fence and a close up of the distorted piling. The drainage ditch is visible here, too. The materials moved underfoot!.


Order from chaos in this essay in rock construction. The Barton groynes start to restore stability to the coast further east.

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A rocky coast, with rip rap in the bays and rock groynes separating them!


More rock, under pressure from choppy seas. Behind the undercliff road are stone blocks, a graded and drained slope, another track and then the cliff.


A newly-graded slope is probably in response to a recent slump, evidence for which lies in the foreground. the Barton shopping parade marks the horizon.

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Rip rap along the coastline, being attacked by a choppy sea with the wind from the south-west. Looking east.


The parade of shops at the seafront in Barton, seen from the undercliff track. The variety of textures and land cover, is dominated by defence works, before a relatively low free face of cliff. Even so the buildings' future must be suspect.


Looking south over the rip rap from a mini rock groyne. An old wooden groyne still hangs on.



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The greensward east of the shops at the front in Barton. To the left of this shot is the Beachcomber Cafe, a repository of refreshments and also a display of Barton's history of erosion, by the New Forest District Council. An ideal place to take stock of the coast and replenish one's fortitude!


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Hampshire Barton-on-Sea Highcliffe Naish Farm coasts erosion defences mass movement mobile flows rock armour rock groynes