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Norfolk beach completely washed away by wild weather

PUBLISHED: 07:36 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:08 07 March 2018

Last week's wild weather has seen beaches stripped back to the clay at the Somerton Holmes gap area. Photo: Liz Coates

Last week's wild weather has seen beaches stripped back to the clay at the Somerton Holmes gap area. Photo: Liz Coates

Liz Coates

This is the scene at a popular Norfolk beach where wild weather has completely stripped it down to the clay.

Last week's wild weather has seen beaches stripped back to the clay at the Somerton Holmes gap area. Photo: Liz CoatesLast week's wild weather has seen beaches stripped back to the clay at the Somerton Holmes gap area. Photo: Liz Coates

Instead of a sandy swathe the stretch at Winterton/Horsey has been transformed into a pock-marked landscape dotted with pools.

Elsewhere huge boulders buried metres deep have been exposed, and rock groynes uncovered down to the matting they sit on.

Concerns about the situation at Winterton have lead the parish council to re-establish a committee to keep a close eye on coastal issues.

Council chairman Eric Lund said a similar group had disbanded some years ago but that the time was right to re-form.

Last week's wild weather has seen beaches stripped back to the clay at the Somerton Holmes gap area. Photo: Liz CoatesLast week's wild weather has seen beaches stripped back to the clay at the Somerton Holmes gap area. Photo: Liz Coates

The new group would monitor dune loss and add pressure when it came to debates, policy, and funding around erosion and sea defences, he said.

He said although the dunes facing the beach were constantly shifting the ones behind had been stable for around 700 years.

“Even the experts are not sure of how it all works,” he added.

Mr Lund said: “Having a formal committee with resources to closer monitor the situation locally would give us more credibility and perhaps more bargaining power should we need funding to protect the village in the future”

Winterton had been badly hit in the last round of storms, the area in front of the Dunes cafe taking the brunt of it.

There, tunnelling tides had created new cliffs and caves triggering warnings about the dangers of playing in and around them.

The section where all the sand has been washed away is around the Somerton Holmes area on the way to Horsey, an area popular with walkers and seal spotters but further along from the main holiday beaches.

Hemsby has also suffered with the lifeboat unable to launch and homeowners in The Marrams losing chunks of garden.

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