Erosion: Picture shows difference defences can make

Sea defences at Scratby are doing their job

Sea defences doing their job at Scratby - but beyond the gabions the cliffs are crumbling. - Credit: Debi Crafer

A dog walker has snapped an image showing the difference sea defences can make to communities trying to protect against erosion.

Cliffs behind Scatby's gabions (rock filled cages) are covered in greenery with build ups of sand both in front and behind - while beyond them the dunes are bare and crumbling.

The £600,000 community-led  scheme spearheaded by the Scratby and California Environment Group (SCEG) was laid in 2015 and at 877m long was designed to protect 35  homes over 25 years.

Sea defences doing their jobs at Scratby, Norfolk

Dog walker Debi Crafer who lives in Hemsby took this picture showing the impact of sea defences at Scratby. - Credit: Debi Crafer

Meanwhile, Hemsby remains undefended with little immediate prospect of getting anything done.

Ian Brennan, chairman of Save Hemsby Coastline said he hoped a planning decision would be made on a rock berm for the village by the middle of this month.

At the same time work was being done to assemble a funding package of either £14m or £5.5m depending on which scheme got the go ahead.

Shocking drone pictures show erosion along Norfolk coast February 2022

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

The gabions, although cheaper, would not  work in Hemsby according to a report by Jacobs, where they would face too much of a pounding - as the Scratby ones did following the Beast from the East.

The best case scenario was that work could start on the berm in the autumn outside the holiday season.

"We are under threat," he said. "If the road goes at The Marrams it will be catastrophic with multiple properties condemned."

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

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He added that even under the lowest level of protection - the shorter £5.5m berm - some 27 homes could be lost in the next 20 years and others to the north would be undefended.

"Save Hemsby Coastline does not care what they put on the beach as long as they put something there," he said.

"What we are trying to put on the beach is based on the Jacobs report.

"The gabions at Scratby do not get hit all the time, on our beach they would and what that really means is that they would fall apart very quickly.

"This is why Jacobs have said to go with the rock berm.

"We are the pressure group, they are the experts, but we need it quickly."