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Walberswick beach and Dingle Marsh breach   1 December 2007

 

GPS locations on the barrier beach

between Dunwich/Walberswick in MS Word

 

This is a map of the area with the GPS plotted upon it. Errors at the time were indicated at 17', which is about as good as it gets for me! The coast has clearly retreated and become more embayed, and I think I have found a valid use for the GPS in recording such change. The rest of the beach now needs to be survey from the south to the breach.

 

 

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Tide tables from the BBC

 

 

 

The tracks made as the Coastguards slid down the ridge!

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Dunwich beach and Dingle Marsh breach 29 Nov 2006

Walberswick and Dingle Marsh Feb 2007

 

Dunwich beach and Dingle Marsh update 19 May 2007

Dunwich Heath and Minsmere surge photos May 19 2007

 

Suffolk Surge - 9 November 2007

Surge update Walberswick Dec 1 2007

 

 

photos of Walberswick during the surge by Dean Hendricks' son

Rescue of a Coastguard vehicle in Feb 2007 pdf

 

In early Feb 2007 when as a member of Response group 'Suffolk Rover Rescue', my colleague and I were called out to assist the local Coastguard vehicle that had become stuck at the bottom of the shingle bank just behind the Dunwich side of the breach!

 

We were on site at 1900hrs finally retrieving the stricken vehicle at 2200hrs. All this through a high tide with water percolating through the shingle bank!

Dean Hendricks

 

 

 

The Dunwich River drains through Corporation Marshes and into Walberswick

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The riverbank is protected by a stockade of wooden posts on the western bank, in front of curiously cleared ground .. before the grassed flood bank.

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On the seaward side of the channel are old anti-tank concrete obstacles, a wide wooden bridge to access the beach, and, beyond, some sand dunes ...

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The small area of sand dunes are regularly played over by strong winds, certainly on this day; the Dunwich River lies to the left (west ) and Southwold to the north, across the River Blyth.

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The beach in front of the sand dunes appears little scoured, certainly in comparison with the erosion further south. Here, immediately south of the last beach huts, the waves have taken the beach down and have created low cliffs, 2m high, by removal of the wide plateau of beach materials.

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Just a remnant of the higher bank level remains, one that has been there, as the marram grass shows, for some time. The low cliffs of sand and shingle  (1-2 metres only) have a steep face on the seaward side. The scale is helped by the house in the background.

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The site of a popular footpath across the marshes is a good marker for these small lagoons. Beach material has been washed landwards into the marshes, but the beach top still has a reasonable width here.

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Not so a few metres south, where the ridge narrows to an arete! The reverse slope of the is, if anything, steeper than the beach front, whilst the whole feature is, here at least, sand rich.

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The end of the ridge and the start of the breach. Dunwich lies behind the splayed crevasse, but the southern end of the breach cannot be seen against the low morning light.

 

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Looking back northwards along the narrow ridge; the vegetation on the left and in the centre shows it is the seaward side that has been solely eroded here, and without material being pushed over the top ... no need to in view of the massive opening southwards!

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More photographs from the northern shoulder of the breach, and the start of a landscape of sand and shingle incursions and a mat of dried grass driven onto the reverse slope of the beach by high winds on the day of the breach.

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The mat of vegetation, left and centre, butts up against the shingle spills and a small area of wind driven sand crossing a shingle section!

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The new deposits push into the marshes, up to the point of a mapped drainage channel, centre, and at its deepest penetration, the re-worked sands, left. This point was recorded on a GPS. see Word document

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screensaver

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This is an area I christened the 'channelled scablands', as floods tore through a former deposit of sand, depositing shingle and re-modelling the deposits, complete with mega-ridges!

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This area appears to be a reworked breach, that may have initially drained into the sea at this point. Certainly strong water flows are indicated by old channel banks; now it is a lagoon

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Two curiosities here. On the left a rather large hunk of concrete, with one or two smaller relatives, dropped a long way from a known source of concrete blocks (Dunwich beach fishing area) and some new (they have to be post-breach) marker poles. Fieldwork, Coastguard or Environment Agency?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another mystery feature is a causeway of clay, in the middle of a shingle and sand barrier beach and about equidistant from Dunwich and Walberswick. The surface has a tangle of fibrous stalks sticking out of it. Surely these will be removed rapidly by sand and shingle scouring ... but what is the feature?

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The extent of the shingle incursions can be seen in the left shot, and is to the south across the new breach. I would have loved to have followed the crest, but now had to retrace my steps back to Walberswick. The centre photo is from the breach gap over the marshes to the north, whilst on the right is a grounded buoy to the south of the breach.

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screensaver

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The outpouring water from the previous high tide. This matches a channel within the marshes, and is an obvious weak-point. the extent of the shingle driven onshore is impressive.

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At the breach, a photograph taken from the shingle beach on the north side, and marked by GPS. The channel deepens quickly !(centre)and cross-waves relate to a sub-sea canyon at the beach, perhaps?

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The waves at the breach continue to go their occasional separate ways - whilst a windsurfer (there were four) enjoys the brisk wind.

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As a result of the surge a kilometre-long section of footpath has been closed at Walberswick, with hints on the notice of permanency.

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The harbour at Southwold/Walberswick afford views to the north and Southwold town, and to the east the open harbour mouth. This area is within a metre of sea level and floods regularly, notably on the Walberswick side.

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A groyne separates the Dunwich River, on the right, from the harbour. During the surge shingle was deposited up the foreshore and behind the groyne, spilling into the Dunwich River channel

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Shingle pushed over the foreshore.

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