Erosion: Dramatic drone pictures reveal rapidly changing coastline

Shocking drone pictures show erosion along Norfolk coast February 2022

The cliffs at Hemsby in February 2022. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

Shocking images show the scale of accelerating erosion along our picturesque coast.

At Hemsby Lance Martin's home is just feet away from crumbling sandy cliffs after Storm Corrie put the wind in the sails of high tides.

And further north at Winterton the land is almost unrecognisable, with the cafe gone and Beach Road ending in oblivion, the remains of  its tarmac surface hanging over the sands.

Shocking drone pictures show erosion along Norfolk coast February 2022

The coast at Winterton showing the car park is now roughly half the size and anti-tank blocks which were on the clifftop now below the water line. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

Comparing the most recent Google Earth image taken in June 2021 the difference is stark, the cliff edge now almost up to the car park kiosk in just six months.

Winterton as seen on Google Earth 2021.

The latest Google Earth picture from summer 2021. Since then much more land has been lost with the Coastwatch tower set to be missing from future satellite images. - Credit: Google Earth

The erosion streak has seen a response from agencies who are working with the landowner to create a new entrance to the car park.

At Hemsby the damage has amplified calls for a rock berm currently in the hands of planners as the lifeboat service plans its own emergency measures so it can continue launching.

Meanwhile, Coastwatch at Winterton is beating a retreat as it edges closer to the precipice.

Shocking pictures show scale of erosion Norfolk coast Winterton February 2022.

The Coastwatch tower and car park kiosk are perilously close to the cliff edge at Winterton which has lost a huge amount of material. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

Its volunteers will work their last shift on Thursday and start the process of dismantling the building and packing away equipment.

Both volunteer services have launched appeals.

The images were taken by Oliv3r Drone Photography on February 8.

Shocking drone pictures show erosion along Norfolk coast February 2022

The beach at Hemsby where a rock berm is planned in February 2022. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

With the worst of winter not yet over, communities will likely face more challenges over the next few months.

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In the longer term the toilets and car park at Winterton will have to be relocated.

Shocking drone pictures show erosion along Norfolk coast February 2022

Looking along the clifftop at Hemsby towards Winterton in February 2022. Lance Martin's home was once one of 13 along the exposed stretch facing the elements. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

In the short term safety barriers at the end of Beach Road have been beefed up amid reports that safety cones and bins were regularly being thrown over the edge.

James Bensly, county councillor for the stretch who also runs a beachside cafe at Hemsby, said: "You have an emotional response straight away when you see the devastation.

"But to actually try to achieve something is exhausting. This is a challenge for humanity.

"We may not get another Beast from the East or a surge that does mega damage for another ten years, but the way it keeps nibbling away the beach does not get a chance to recover.

"These events are often classed as 'once-in-a-lifetime' but they are becoming more regular and more intense.

"If a big one hits it will have a free pass until we  get defences."

Shocking drone pictures show erosion along Norfolk coast February 2022

The coast at Happisburgh on Tuesday February 8, 2022. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography

Shocking drone pictures show erosion along Norfolk coast February 2022

Drone pictures showing the coast at Happisburgh in February 2022. - Credit: Oliv3r Drone Photography