Erosion At Seawick Even Worse Where There Are No Groynes

The sea is eroding beach at Seawick near Hutleys. Further south, where there are no groynes, the sea is close to eroding the sea wall. As these images from Google Earth show.

31 December 2000



 31 December 2012


In 2000 there was a path, the sea side of wall, which cars could and did drive along.
By 2012 most of this path had eroded away, in one location.

Since 2012 the erosion has got much worse

 31 Jan 2016






The Environment Agency has pile rocks against the wall, using the strategy which failed in Holland-on-Sea and Clacton.

Piling rocks against the wall doesn’t stop the sea from eroding material from underneath the rocks.  In the next to pictures you can see (just about) how the rocks closest to the wall have dropped down below the level of the rocks closer to the sea.



This map from page 144 of EA’s SMP2 shows this stretch of coast marked bluey-purple.  This indicates how EA sea this stretch of coast line between 2055 and 2105.


and the key on the same page



So EA’s policy is to either

  • Hold the line (maintain the wall)
  • Knock the wall down (Managed Realignment)

If there is at least the possibility of knocking the wall down in a few decades time, surely this will lessen the willingness to protect it now?  And if the sea wall is breached EA can just say:

See we were right to say it was vulnerable, hard defenses don’t work you know.

I say the wall can be defended by building groynes just like the ones a few yards towards Jaywick.

It’s worth pointing out again the sea can erode material from under the wall or promenade.



And if you think the dual Hold The Line/Managed Realignment policy at Seawick is bad. Consider the plight of Fairbourne in Wales as reported by Daily Mail.  At Fairbourne the policy is Managed Realignment after 2055.

I wonder what that’s doing to house prices now.

Posted in Beaches, Breakwaters, Coastal Squeeze, EA, Groynes, SMP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sea Eroding Beach By Hutleys At Seawick – Feb 2016

Google Earth images from 2000 and 20014 clearly show sea is eroding beach by Hutleys at Seawick.  I believe this is because a reef was built instead of a groyne.

4 April 20014


31 December 2000


The situation has deteriorated since 20016 and in attempt to halt the sea attacking sea wall EA(Environment Agency) has placed rocks against the sea wall.  This is the same strategy which was used at Clacton and Holland-on-Sea, which failed, and has been abandoned in favour of new rock groynes.

Why would anyone use a strategy which they tried about 3 miles away and failed??!!

I took some pictures of the beach at high tide on 30 January 2016, and low tide on 31 January.

The wind in this part of the country is predominately from the southwest.  The wind causes the waves and the reef funnels the waves onto the beach.  Had a groyne been built here it would stop the waves from reaching the beach.


The sea clearly reaches the sea wall by the reef


But immediately to the north of the next groyne there is plenty of dry sand to keep the sea away from the wall.



The rocks against sea wall do nothing to stop sea washing beach away.
And they will do nothing to stop the sea from undermining the sea wall.


 Immediately to the north, a completely different picture.



So much sand has been washed away the underlying clay is exposed.



But it’s not over yet

The sea has started to remove the sand and rocks from the groyne just to the north of the reef, by the sea wall.  How long do you think it will be before the groynes is washed away?


Why oh why oh why was a reef built which has proved to be useless.

Why have EA piled rocks against the sea wall.

Why don’t they use the rocks from reef, and against sea wall to build another groyne.  The pictures from Google Earth at the top of this post proves groynes work and the reef doesn’t.

If I was Hutleys, or had a caravan at Hutleys I would be ringing/emailing EA and my mp and councillor to ask for a new groyne to be built before the seawall is eroded away.



Posted in Beaches, Breakwaters, EA, Groynes, Seawick, SMP, Tendring | 2 Comments

A Big Thankyou to Dave Lambert and Frinton & Clacton Gazette

A recent post was noticed by Dave Lambert and ended up on front page of Frinton & Walton Gazette. Dave asked EA for a response and printed some of this too


link to Dave’s piece in Gazette

the post sea continues to erode wall and cliffs at Walton-on-the-Naze Dec-2015

EA are quoted as saying

The Shoreline Management Plan was not developed by the Environment Agency, but the organisation is responsible for monitoring and acting on it.

The plan says all homes, infrastructure and the sewage works will be protected – but one option to achieve that is allowing a re-alignment of the coast.

That would see the sea wall moved back to a “more sustainable position” and letting the coast shrink back to create a better tidal pattern.

The Environment Agency says that option is not in its current plans.

But it also admitted there are no sea defence schemes in place yet to protect the coastline – and it all depends on money.


which is strange as the post showed this following section from EA’s SMP2 (Shoreline Management Plan).

Is this not a plan

And this is from page 2 of  SMP2


EA may say they did not develop SMP2 but they certainly approved it.

Perhaps they’re saying SMP2 was developed by consultants working on behalf of EA.

Kind of makes you wonder why they didn’t develop the plan themselves?

Incidentally EA’s reply to Dave was quite lengthy, the Gazette only quoted a small part of it.  I’ll have something to say about the rest later.


I wonder what “a more sustainable position” means.

Posted in Beaches, Breakwaters, EA, Groynes, SMP, Tendring, Walton-on-the-Naze | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sea Continues To Erode Wall and Cliffs At Walton-on-the-Naze – Dec 2015

The sea wall at north east end of the Naze is being eroded away and the sea will soon break through threatening the sewage works which serves Frinton, Walton and surrounding villages.

Environment Agency plan to let sea wall fail then build new defenses! 

Yet they know building groynes work – why else have they built groynes at Holland-on-Sea, Clacton, Jaywick and Seawick?


You can clearly see tarmac and slabs from path falling onto the beach



 The path up to sewage works from path behind the sea wall.


Path behind sea wall looking towards Dovercourt (roughly north west)


And looking towards the sea


 The land behind sea wall is lower than the beach,  so will be flooded when the sea wall is breached.


Comparing the picture above taken in November 2015 with the one below, taken in June 2015, it won’t be long before the sea breaches the wall.



The sea washes material away from cliffs at sea level, leading to collapse.


Even though the sewage works is some distance up a hill, once the sea has breached the wall it will start eroding material from the base of the hill and continue unless checked.  For example by building groynes.

We have seen the how the sea erodes in Tendring over the last few decades.

At Holland Haven and Holland-on-sea the groynes were not repaired which allowed the sea to wash away the sand and cause the level of the beach to drop by at least 10 feet.

Notice how the tops of the posts are nearly at the level of the sand in the left picture but stand many feet clear of the sand in the right picture.


 And the damage was even worse closer to Clacton



 Ultimately the sea wall failed


And at Holland Haven the sea washed material from underneath the promenade, weakening it so in 2011 a digger actually fell through the promenade.

Digger Falling Into Hole In Sea Wall At Holland in 2011


Piling rocks against the wall was a waste of time and money as it did nothing to stop the sea attacking the wall and promenade.

What does work is building groynes which trap a layer of dry sand in front of the wall which stops the sea from getting to the wall (or cliffs).

If this does not work why was £33million been spent on building rock groynes at Holland and Clacton?



 And the ones built earlier at Jaywick and Seawick?





EA have a plan which they call SMP2, Shoreline Management Plan 2 (it’s their second plan) which details how they plan to defend the coast until about 2100.  Curiously for a body reponsible for sea and flood defenses EA’s plan is largely to knock down the sea defenses in a process they call managed realignment.  Well knocking down sea defenses doesn’t sound to good.  They used to call knocking down sea defenses managed retreat, but perhaps they realised this didn’t sound to good either.

If you turn to page 117 of SMP2 for Essex and South Suffolk you will find this


Do you like the way EA say realigments can (weasel word here) have both positive and negative impacts!

What is it that maybe positive or maybe negative
Or both at the same time?

I would have thought allowing the Naze to fall into the sea has a very negative impact

And to do so after the Walton Walks have been created is very witty.


Other Things

 People still stand at the edge of the cliffs


which is insane as there is no way of telling from the cliff top how much support, if any, the ground has.


 And  groynes at Walton still need repairing



So government, in the form of EA, are allowing the Naze to be eroded, presumably to save money.  And they plan to spend money defending the sewage works.



If you object to this policy why not email your mp,


Posted in Beaches, EA, Frinton, Groynes, Kirby-le-Soken, SMP, Walton-on-the-Naze | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Houses In Tendring – Can Electricity Supply Cope?

Tendring has been ordered to plan for around 10,000 new houses by central government. Tendring district council proposes many should be built in coastal towns and surrounding villages.  Can the electricity supply cope?

There is a large electricity substation in Great Holland called Clacton Grid, which supplies Clacton, Frinton, Walton and surrounding villages.



The pylons which bring electricity to Clacton Grid come from near Manningtree, past Horsley Cross, Tendring and Thorpe to Great Holland.


Here is a map which shows the pylons approximate route.  A distance of at least 7 miles.



So can the existing electricity supply cope with the new houses?

If so there must have been excess capacity for many years.  Why???

If not will there need to be a new substation – where will it be built?

Where will the new pylons be put to supply this new substation?

Is there enough electricity generation capacity to supply new substation?  Or is this why government has arranged for Chinese to build and run a new nuclear power station at Bradwell?


Actually there is a case of over capacity being built.

You many have noticed there are rarely hose pipe bans in Tendring, even though the rest of country suffers.  My parents told me in 50s or 60s a large reservoir was built to supply a new town which was never built.

So when new houses are built we can have hose pipe bans like the rest of the country!

Posted in Clacton, Frinton, Frinton, Great Holland, Kirby-le-Soken, Tendring, Walton-on-the-Naze | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tendring Population Falls Government Orders Plan For New Homes

2011 census shows Tendring had a population of 138,000 yet 2001 census 138,800 a fall of 800 people or 0.6%.


Here is a map of Tendring courtesy of Google.


The main towns are on the coast or along rivers.  This is where developers are applying to build new homes.

The government told Tendring District council to plan for 12,000 new homes or was it 10,000 or 8,000.  We might expect at least 2 people per home so the government is requiring an increase in Tendring’s population of up to 24,000 – a 17% increase on the 2011 census.  Will anyone actually live in these homes if they are built?

Why if population fell between 2001 and 2011 census according to Office for Nation Statistics.  This report shows other areas in increase in population of over 10% during the same 10 years the population of Tendring fell.

Why did Tendring’s population fall?

The short answer is I don’t know, but this Tendring Distring Council report offers some clues. On page 106 (106!!) of this report states there are higher than average rates of

  • unemployment
  • older people living in the region

Is the aim to turn Tendring into one giant care home?  Where the main job opportunities are to commute out of Tendring or work in a care home?

If thousands of new homes have to be built wouldn’t it make more sense to build new towns closer to Colchester and Ipswich, rather than cram new homes into existing sea side towns?

Here is how Environment Agency see our coast in 2105,  in short anything not marked green indicates EA plan to knock down sea defenses.  Roughly half of Tendring’s coastline will be abandoned 

  • St Osyth to Jaywick
  • Holland Haven to Frinton
  • The Naze


Environment Agency Plan For Tendring Coastline By 2105

Environment Agency Plan For Tendring Coastline By 2105


It is really bizarre one part of government is telling Tendring to plan for new homes at the same time another part of government is planning to let parts of Tendring be flooded by the sea.

Posted in EA, Local, SMP, Tendring | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Beach For Clacton – Naze And Seawick Falling Into Sea

Upgrade of groynes and beach at Clacton and Holland-on-Sea continues.  Nothing is done to stop sea eroding beach, sea wall and cliffs at Naze and Seawick


New groynes and recharged beach at Clacton near pier


Photo from earlier year shows how much sand had dropped – about 20 feet


In the distance you can see a reef that has been built out to sea, for boats to shelter behind

Presumably this touches the bottom

So the groynes could have been built much further out



The new beach is still much smaller than south of the pier



The previous policy of putting rocks against wall and letting groynes fall to pieces didn’t work.

Why was nothing done to change this policy for about 15 years?

On the other hand if previous policy did work why was it changed?


Seawick- St Osyth

 In October 2013 the path just south of the groynes looked like this

Looking north


Looking south

 In both photos can clearly see properties behind the sea wall 6Oct2013_stOysthPathLookingSouth

In 2015 path looks like this

It is clear the sea has eroded almost all the sand and mud from in front of the sea wall

And once this has gone the sea will start eroding the sea wall

Eventually there will be a hole in the sea wall and the properties and caravans will be flooded.


This is not guess work, there is the experience from Holland-on-Sea to go by

Sea wall fails


Digger falls through promenade as sea has washed away material from underneath promenade,  greatly reducing the promenade’s strength.



Another failure at Seawick

This reef is covered by seaweed, clearly showing it is covered by the sea at high tide – which allows the sea to wash sand on beach away



which it has, compare the level of this beach


with the level just the other side of the groyne to north


not only is there a better beach there is a bank of dry sand in front of the wall, protecting it from the destructive effect of the sea.

This beach is only a few yards from the one where there is a reef and the sand has been washed away.

So the Environment Agency and TDC know exactly how to protect the beach and sea wall, because they’ve done it here.


 In October 2013 the foundations of ramp at Seawick was being eroded away



Environment Agency solution is to pile rocks against ramp

This is the solution which didn’t work and has been abandoned a few miles to the north in Clacton and Holland on Sea

I guess the reason the stones are in wire mesh is someone is worried about them being washed away!


At The Naze

Mean while the Naze continues to fall into the sea and the only remedy is to put up a fence!


A view from the beach – Jun 2015 – note the slabs on the sea wall


January 2013 view from the beach, where are the slabs?


It’s not the slabs are behind the vegetation

The slabs and sea wall are at least 10 yards from the cliff



It looks like the sea will soon break through the sea wall here.

There is a sewage works at the Naze when the sea breaks through what will happen to sewage works?

EA solution is to ‘protect’ the sewage works.

In other words they’re going to allow the sea to destroy the existing sea defenses,
and the build new defenses.




 The sea and rain continue to erode all of  the Nazenaze_erosion

The solution is known and has already been implemented in Tendring at Clacton, Holland Frinton and Walton


Naze Cliffs Fall Into Sea Even Though It’s Known How To Stop It


1  Build Groynes

2  Sculpt the cliffs so there is not a sheet vertical drop

3  Drain the cliffs.


It is a strange that at a time when one part of government has ordered Tendring to plan for 10,000 new homes another government agency is planning for lots of Tendring coastline to fall into the sea.

Posted in Beaches, Breakwaters, Groynes, Sea Level | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nasa Makes False Claims About Sea Level Rise

Nasa recently announced likely 900cm rise in sea levels by 2100 based on work by Colorado University.  News media uncritically broadcast this around world.

 The Nasa press release is here

It quotes Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lead of the Sea Level Change Team.

The front page of Sea Level team at Coloradu U ( has the following two graphs.

This shows sea levels as measured by satellites since 1993.  The fact someone has fitted a straight line to the graph shows they think the rate of sea level rise is constant, more or less.


You might think there is a bit of an uptick in the last few months, but the second graph makes it clear this is due to the current El Nino.  The graph above shows sea levels above the trend line in 1998, a big El Nino year.


This page shows tide gauge measurements

Which I’ve copied below

Tide Gauge Estimates of Mean Sea Level Rise

Estimates of global sea level rise which were derived from tide gauge records are found in the table below. Most of the investigators reported that the estimated values were sensitive to the choice of record length and the tide gauges selected. This sensitivity coupled with different computational techniques and modeling would certainly explain some of the differences shown below.


Sea Level Rise (mm/yr)

Error (mm/yr) Data Used (years) # of Tide Gauges References
2.8 ±0.8 1993-2009 ~200 Church & White (2011)
1.7 ±0.2 1900-2009 >38 since 1900 Church & White (2011)
1.9 ±0.4 1961-2009 >190 since 1960 Church & White (2011)
1.43 ±0.14 1881-1980 152 Barnett (1984)
2.27 ±0.23 1930-1980 152 Barnett (1984)
1.2 ±0.3 1880-1982 130 Gornitz and Lebedeff (1987)
2.4 ±0.9 1920-1970 40 Peltier and Tushingham (1989)
1.75 ±0.13 1900-1979 84 Trupin and Wahr (1990)
1.7 ±0.5 N/A N/A Nakiboglu and Lambeck (1991)
1.8 ±0.1 1880-1980 21 Douglas (1991)
1.62 ±0.38 1807-1988 213 Unal and Ghil (1995)


It is clear satellites are measuring a greater rate of sea level rise than tide gauges.

Two reasons for this are

  1. They are not measuring the same thing, tide gauges measure sea levels by land while satellites attempt to measure sea levels across the whole ocean.
  2. Satellites have only measured sea levels for the last 23 years or so. The 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption depressed sea levels around the world for a year or two.  The 1998 El Nino boosted sea levels around the world.  So satellites caught the rebound from the Pinatubo depression and the 1998 El Nino which together gave a higher rate of sea level rise, but only for a short while.

Permanent Service for Mean Sea Levels holds data for tide gauges around the world.

I have used PSMSL data to analyse sea levels around UK

and around the world.

Whilst I mean be wrong my results from around UK agree closely with those published by Prof Philip Woodworth of Proudman of UK’s Proudman Oceanographic Lab.


The Past And The Future

A rise of 3.3mm/year for 23 years is 7.59cm, a bit less than 3½ inches.

And on the basis of this we are supposed to believe there will be 90cm (around 3 feet) rise by 2100 – in 85 years.

In other words the rate of sea level rise, which according to satellites has been roughly constant for 23 years at 3.3mm/year, is going to jump to more than 10 mm/year.


I started blogging in 2011 because UK Environment Agency wanted to knock down a sea wall about 1/2 mile from my house.  Their ‘logic’ was

  1. the rate of sea level rise is going to increase exponentially
  2. this means it will be too expensive to maintain sea defenses
  3. so the best thing to do is knock them down now

This graph has been on front page of since 2011.  It shows

  • data PSMSL hold for Felixstowe,
  • the trendline,
  • and the claimed future rate of sea level rise.



David Middleton, writing at, has a lengthier and more sophisticated analysis of Nasa’s  false claims from which I’ve shamelessly copied the following 2 graphs.

This is similar to the graph of sea levels at Felixstowe – do you believe the projections?


The claim is sea levels will raise at over 10mm/year for next 85 years.

Sea levels did rise at about this rate after the last ice age, but nothing like it for the last 6000 years.


Measurement Errors

Any measurement will have an error, or uncertainty.

What are the errors for satellite sea level measurements?

In 2013 Tony Heller aka Steven Goddard published the following 2 images in a post titled

Shock News Satellite Sea Level Error Is 100% Of The Trend.

 screenhunter_198-apr-12-21-41 screenhunter_1387-oct-11-10-33

Both images came from Colorado University.

Whilst the link for sea levels still works (  The link for measurement error does not.  I wonder why. (


Government Bodies Wouldn’t Release False Information?

We’ve been here before.

In April 2012 the Envisat, the European satellite measuring sea levels, was shut down.

It had been showing rates of sea level rise much lower than other satellites.  Within a day or two Envisat records had been adjusted to bring them into line with other satellites.

By chance I had saved Envisat data just before the records were changed so I was able to do a comparison Sea Levels Still Rising And Envisat Records Altered To Show This/

Amusingly who ever made the changes bungled.  In making Envisat agree with other satellites overall they destroyed the existing agreement during the overlapping periods when 2 or more satellites had been operational.


Why Are They Doing This

 The short answer is I don’t know.

There is a big climate change conference scheduled for later in 2015 in Paris.

It seems we are likely to see an increasing number of wild claims prior to this in order to justify whatever action is deemed necessary despite what actual data says.

As a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.


Media Uncritically Repeats False Claims

On Friday 28 August around 19:45 in UK Sky news featured the Nasa report.

For around 5 minutes they uncritically interviewed a single expert who was allowed to make what ever claims he felt like unchallenged.


Normally 2 people with opposing views are lined up so each can say the other is wrong – and no conclusion is reached.

There was a time when reporters actually investigated themselves finding the facts to justify their stories.

I guess alarm sells and ‘everything is all right’ doesn’t.



Posted in Climate Change, Sea Level | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saltmarsh Erosion At Quay Lane – Are Ducks Responsible?

Rising sea levels are eroding saltmarsh claim EA(Environment Agency) and NE(Natural England). Here is one place where something else is doing it.

At the north end of Quay Lane, Kirby le Soken there is a tidal pool protected by the Quay.  In the middle of this pool is a saltmarsh island where something has created a hole at one end.



It seems impossible for this hole to have been caused by rising sea levels.

Here is another one, by the shore.




I don’t know what caused this hole but ducks regularly congregate here.



and often sunbathe



It certainly seems possible they are causing these holes





Why Should Anyone Care About Saltmarsh Erosion?

DEFRA has tasked EA with creating 100 hectares of new saltmarsh every year by flooding land.

This was the reason for EA’s plan to knock a hole in the sea wall near Peters Point and why they have actually knocked a hole in the seawall at Rigdons.

The rational is rising sea levels are eroding saltmarsh, these posts give more detail.

What is Saltmarsh?

Holland Haven Sea Wall – Will Tendring District Council Let The Sea Destroy It?

Were Early Saltmarsh Surveys Wrong?

Saltmarsh is regarded as important as it provides

  • a place for young fish to develop
  • a habitat for migrating birds

In this video EA are quoted as answering the question “Do crabs cause saltmarsh erosion?”

It wouldn’t be feasible to carry out detailed enough study to assess the sole affect
of crabs. while other factors are considered, including crab burrowing, sea level rise
remains as it’s focus as its responsibility is to respond to man made activities.


In February 2014 there was an Information Tribunal hearing with me on one side and EA and the Information Commissioner on the other.  The hearing was over EA’s answers (or lack of them) to various FOI requests I had made about EA’s policy of attempting to create saltmarsh in Essex and South Suffolk.

EA did not attend the hearing to be cross examined but Mark Johnson, Area Coastal Manager for East Area of Anglian Region of Environment Agency, gave written answers to my written questions.

I explained that this statement was made in response to a request from a BBC journalist.  It is expected practice that such responses to media will need to be responded to in a matter of a few hours.  We feel that this statement is perfectly reasonable and stand by it.  The word ‘feasible’ is subjective and what is feasible to one person may not be feasible to another.

Am I alone in thinking Mark is really saying we just said the first thing that came into our head?

Anyway he went on.

To assist Dr Shiers, we sought advice from Suffolk Coasts and Heaths Unit (part of Suffolk County Council).  They paid for independent advice on crabs and their contribution to erosion in Deben estuary.  They advised us that the independent consultant concluded that there were a number of factors contributing to saltmarsh erosion and that burrowing crabs were not a significant factor.  We referred Dr Shiers to the relevant Unit to obtain a copy of the report.

Strange.  I had previously made an FOI request to Suffolk Council and they replied they held no information about this.  Perhaps I should try again.

If you watch the video you may decide crab burrowing does play a part in saltmarsh erosion.

But what about the migrating birds?  In Hamford  Water thousands come every year to live and feed.  Are we really to believe they have no effect on the saltmarsh?

Perhaps not.  Natural England conducted a survey of saltmarsh between 1997 and 1998.  For Hamford Water they found (table 9, page 66 of Essex Coastal SSSIs: Assessment of Changes in Extent of Saltmarsh Over the Period 1997 to 2008 VOLUME 1 )

1997    694.82 hectares of saltmarsh

2008   698.13 hectares of saltmarsh.

So there’s no need to knock down sea walls and flood farm land to try and recreate saltmarsh. 

It’s growing back all by itself!

Posted in Climate Change, Coastal Squeeze, EA, Salt Marsh Erosion | Leave a comment

New Holland Haven Groynes Covered By Super High Tide

High tide at Holland on 22 March 2015 was 4.9m over ½ meter higher than normal and about level predicted in 100 years time. The new groynes were completely covered.


The locations in Tendring where the sea covers the groynes at high tide are those were the sea has washed away the sand the most. The most that is apart from the Naze and south of Seawick where there aren’t any groynes at all!

So either EA are not expecting that much sea level rise, or they don’t expect the groynes to keep the beach and seawall safe for 100 years.



There is a green buoy at the end of most groynes



But not this one, which would clearly be dangerous in summer.



So while it’s great there’s now a beach.  It looks like the groynes aren’t high enough.

Posted in Beaches, Groynes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment