Why Does The Area Need To Be Protected? – Ventnor is a Victorian town on the coast of the Isle of Wight built on steep clay – As a result it is one of the largest urbanised landslide complexes in Europe – The sea cliffs here reach about 30-40 metres in height and it is the highest point on the island – The area is prone to rotational slumping and mudslides in wetter periods – Where wave processes attack the coast, rockfalls also become likely – During storm conditions Atlantic waves from the south-west create a powerful storm surge.
– There is a limited supply of drift material in the area so beaches are often narrow offering little protection and waves pick up gravel in storm conditions attacking the cliffs through abrasion Why Is Coastal Erosion As Issue? – The area is a coastal resort and a residential area containing i?? millions of property near the coast – The main east-west communications route passes close to the edge in some places – The town has a large population of older buildings, not built with land protection in mind.
– Slope failure on this coast could affect properties up to 200m inland with enormous socio-economic costs – Landslides can damage buildings and disrupt services – They break water mains and raise groundwater with the further effect of lubricating landslides – Roads and communications networks are disrupted leading to business effects – There is a risk of loss of life which consequently harms families and the whole community – Psychological harm takes effect due to increasing insurance premiums and litigation – Residents evacuate the area leaving it deprived.
What Coastal Management Measures Have Been Taken? Cliff Stabilisation – This has taken place at Wheelers Bay where cliffs have been dewatered to reduce waterlogging and anchored by using terracing and wiring to hold cliffs in place to reduce landslide reactivations Sea Walls – Also at Wheeler’s Bay, lipped sea-walls have been constructed with rip-rap and concrete tetrapods in front of them to prevent the retreat of cliff bases. Groynes – Groynes of various orientations have been encouraged to encourage beach deposition.
Cliff Drainage – Drainage systems have been fitted at the base of the cliff to protect from wave attack What Are The Planning, Management ; Environmental Issues? Planning – A second shoreline management plan was published in 2010 replacing the previous one of 1997. This will affect the management of Ventnor’s coastline for the next 100 years. Included within is division into management units and criteria for management (Hold, Advance, Manage, No Intervention) Education – In addition to hard engineering, it is hard to educate people.
Steadfast efforts have gone into educating people to adapt and change their behaviour, especially concerning water, in order to protect their coastline. Water ponding is discouraged, whilst vegetation is encouraged to bind slopes together Environment – Part of the area is recognised as having ecologically valuable characeteristics and priority habitats and so Environmental Impact Assessments have been commissioned however geological reports have concluded that hard engineering provides the only viable solution.