RENOURISHMENT AT HEACHAM AND SNETTISHAM
Environment agency will commence renourishment of the beach at Heacham
next month (from 18 July). Work will continue until the end of November.
The work is the final part of a 5-year package of sea defence improvements
in the area that started in 2001 and has to date included hard defence
schemes at Snettisham beach (south of the Scalp), Heacham Dam, Heacham
beach (north of Jubilee Ramp) and Hunstanton South beach. The improvements
are part of a 50-year plan to manage the sea defences between Hunstanton
Nourishment involves dredging material from the seabed and placing it on
the beach. This was last carried out in 1990/91.The
current proposal is restricted to two locations and aims to provide a
higher beach with a flatter slope. This will increase the level of flood protection and should also help to reduce
the winter cliffing, which is a feature of the shingle ridge sections
of the beach.
The two locations involved are:
- from Jubilee Ramp in a southerly direction for a distance of
1700 metres (to the edge of the Coastal Park) and
- for a distance of 1300 metres roughly centred on the
Snettisham car park area.
About 400,000 tonnes of sand and shingle will be dredged from a licensed
aggregate site in the North Sea (off Skegness) and
taken into the Wash by dredger. There the material will be
transferred onto barges and brought ashore to Heacham South Beach. Once
ashore dumpers will transport the material to its final location where it
will be profiled by bulldozers.
Works are entirely subject to tidal conditions and barging will only be
possible on spring tides (probably 6 days out of 14).
Marine conditions will also play a part so it is important to make as much
progress as possible during the better weather. This means starting the
works in the summer. However because of the importance of bird nesting on
the beaches it is not possible to start until the nesting season has more
or less finished - hence the July planned start.
This also coincides with the main holiday season so the contract works
will be phased in an attempt to reduce disturbance to a minimum. To this
end prior to the school holidays every effort will he made to make up the
beach in the Jubilee Ramp area. At the start of the holidays operations
will relocate to concentrate on the beach south of the Heacham River
Outfall. At the end of the holidays the beach north of the outfall will be
completed The current plan will also involve transferring material to
Snettisham beach during the same period commencing north of the car park
and gradually working south. By adopting this approach it is hoped to
minimise the impacts on holidaymakers.
Beach Nourishment (sometimes referred to as beach recharge or
replenishment) should not be confused with the annual beach recycling
carried out by the Agency whereby sand and shingle, which naturally drifts
south toward the Snettisham Scalp is returned to the beaches to the north.
Recycling is purely a land-based operation and does not involve any
marine activity; Site Offices for the Contract duration will be located by
the Heacham South Beach car park. Representatives of the contract site
team will be available to discuss working issues with organisations and
members of the public. Information boards with programme and contact
details will be erected in due course at the site offices and other key
is a copy of the article that appeared in the July edition of the Heacham Newsletter supplied by Steve Peck of the