Last Updated 10 Mar 2020

Extending Sea Defences

Category Beach, Money, Tax, Water
Words 3106 (12 pages)
Views 621

Walton is the southeast of England; part of the town is situated on a headland called the 'Naze'.

To get to Walton we will go across the Orwell Bridge and along the A12, then we will travel onto the A113 and then go onto the B1033 and then up to Walton. This whole journey is fifty kilometres approximately.

There is map of Walton and

Order custom essay Extending Sea Defences with free plagiarism report


the route to it on page 3

Walton has got a colourful background:

* The earliest human remains found at Walton are dated back to the Neolithic period of 4,000 to 2,500 BC. This was discovered when a large village settlement was found at the northern end of the Naze.

* Romans were the next to inhabit the Naze.

* After the Romans nothing much is known about the Naze until around 1527 when John Stone bought a farm about 1km from today's shoreline.

* In 1924 the Naze was bought and made into a golf course.

* In 1939 the area was taken over by the armed forces, where the first British guided missile system was developed.

* The forces left the Naze in 1947 and it become rough grazing

* Finally in 1963 the Essex County Council and Tendring District Council as a public open space bought it.

There are many different reasons why people want to save the Naze, firstly, to lose the area would be bad financially, as the people who live there bring in money and pay taxes as do the businesses near the area. Secondly, the cliffs at the Naze are of geological significance, it is full of fossilised sharks teeth and wood. Thirdly a lot of migratory birds start and finish their journeys at the Naze. Some of these are often rare, such as Sanderlings, Oyster Catchers and Little Terns. There are also some very unusual plants growing on the Naze. Many of these plants, birds and fossils are threatened with extinction in Britain.

The cliffs at Walton are being eroded in mainly two ways, the first is slumping, described in the diagram above. The second is when hydraulic action (when the waves are crashing into the cliff) and abrasion (pebbles rocks etc. thrown at cliff), causes undercutting at the bottom of the cliff. This leaves the base of the cliffs unprotected so the cliffs collapse into the sea. In doing this coursework I am trying to prove or disprove the hypothesis, 'the costs of extending sea defences at Walton-on-the-Naze are too high and the benefits are too small.

Chapter 1

Coastal Defences at Walton

At present there are three main ways that are used to protect the beach, groynes, Rip-raps and breakwaters. All three of these stop Longshore Drift (LSD).

Longshore Drift on a Beach

A Groyne is a wall built a little way out into the sea that traps sand, this stops Longshore Drift, and so sand builds up on one side of the Groyne so the beach gets bigger. However, on the other side of the groyne, no sand builds up, so the beach is still lost. These cost �10,000 each, and are sited more than 200 metres apart. So to protect just one kilometre would cost �50,000. A rip-rap is a group of interlocking boulders, which break up the waves, therefore not allowing the waves to erode the cliffs or letting Longshore Drift take place. These cost �3,500 a metre. Breakwaters are basically just concrete groynes, they stop Long Shore Drift and also break the waves.

A Rip-rap

I feel that these methods have been very successful in stopping Longshore Drift, as you can see from the picture below there is a lot of sand.

The Beach at Site C

The groynes have worked and there is a beach

To protect the cliff/promenade different methods have also been used. Rock Armour takes most of the energy of the wave as for it not to crash into the cliff and erode it away. The sea wall is probably the most important method to stop the erosion as it is the most effective, the sea wall reflects waves and withstands waves breaking on it so stopping the promenade being eroded, however it does have to be replaced because over time it to will get eroded away.

The Sea Wall at the Promenade

This is the most effective technique, but as you can see from the picture it has been beaten by the waves and has started to erode.

Site D is generally the unprotected area. There are actually no sea defences to stop the erosion and removal of the beach. Also the groynes at the south of this area have made the problem worse. Even though behind the groyne the beach is protected it means less material heads further down the beach, so beaches further down the coast start to get smaller. This means that the waves concentrate all their energy on the base of the cliffs so they slump. There are very few defences to protect the cliff at site D, only a very old sea wall, an this has started to erode away so it is not really very useful. The methods used haven't been successful because basically there are no methods to stop the erosion. That area is very popular with dog walkers, horse riders and bird watchers. There is a lot of wildlife, a Martello tower, houses, farms and sewage works. So it would not be very good for it not to be there.

Chapter 2

At sites A, B and C a vast amount of money has been spent on making sea defences and repairing them, and they have been working very well. At Walton there is a very big beach, nearly all the cliffs are not slumping and even though the defences were expensive, Walton is very economically valuable. If the groynes were never there or had been taken out the resort would have been very different, it would eventually become a ghost town. This is called the negative multiplier effect. This is shown in the diagram labelled 'The Negative Multiplier Effect'.

The Slumping Which Will Hopefully Not Happen Anymore

For Walton to be worth saving for economical reasons it has to have lots of sources of income, the most important of these is the beach. The beach is a reason for people to come to the town, and once they use the beach they use the pier, the amusements, the restaurants and the leisure centre, all of these things bring in money and also all of these businesses pay taxes which means the council gets more money, which in turn means the services (health, education, environmental, emergency) get more money so they are better. As the towns services are better then more businesses are attracted to Walton, because of all of these things Walton becomes a thriving tourist town, with lots of money.

When the four classes went to Walton we filled in economic and environmental evaluation sheets of the four different sites we visited, for economic 1 was the least valuable and 5 the most, and with environmental 1 was the least environmentally valuable and 5 the most. Then I took an average or 2 classes results. Then using Excel I made graphs of these results, I also made graphs of my own, personal results. These are the graphs entitled Bi-Polar Environmental/Economic Index Scores or My Own Bi-Polar etc.

As you can see from the class average graph for the economic value of Walton and my own results, we all thought that Site A, the Pier Area was the most economically valuable. This is because of the pier and all the amusements on it these all bring in money but it was also the leisure centre and all the restaurants that also bring in money. However I thought that Site B was also very economically valuable while the class average showed it was quite valuable but not as valuable as site A. I felt this because in site B there is the beach, and this is probably the biggest money earner, as without the beach all of the other things would not be there (see Negative Multiplier Effect diagram). Also site B has the beach huts that are quite costly to buy so this would bring in money.

Both the class graphs and mine show that neither sites C or D are very economically valuable, but these do bring in some money, sites C and D have a caf�, a farm, houses and a sewage works, which all pay taxes to the council, so they are not hugely lacking in economic value.

This was completely the opposite for the environmental evaluations, sites C and D scored the highest both in the class graph and mine, but I scored sites C and D slightly higher than the average. I thought they should both score highly because they had had a high scenic quality, the habitat for birds and animals was very good, and the location is important for the study of geology and ecosystems. In site D there is a lot of salt-loving vegetation that helps stop the cliffs eroding so if this was taken away they are effectively taking away sea defences. The area is also very popular with bird watchers, dog walkers and horse riders.

The 'Save The Naze' Protection society desperately wants to save the Naze from falling into the sea. On their website they had an article about why the Naze is not being saved.

Beaurocracy hinders any real progress to Save the Naze

Via the local MP both the Environmental and Heritage departments of the Government has been written to asking for action to save the Naze and the Naze Tower, which is a listed building. The environmental department confirmed its approval for the agreed three hard point scheme to retard erosion but will not finance it saying action needs to come from Tendring District Council. The Heritage department say it is concerned about losing the Tower but cannot do anything because it is down to the environmental department to do something.

They also say Tendring District Council should be the organisation taking the initiative. The Chief Executive of Tendring District Council and others have been written to about the major slippages and asking what they intend to do but they still await the results of research expected in spring 2002. There is a real danger then that they will use results to discredit the currently approved scheme and want to spend more time and money investigating and getting approved alternative schemes. From past experience this could well take 5 to 10 years in which time the Tower will be lost together with more acres of the Naze.

The Tower At Walton

Tower at risk in next few years

The cliff edge at the Tower groyne is now within 25m from the cafe. The cliff edge at this point is now estimated to be around 100m back from the end of the existing sea defence constructed in 1977. This means that erosion here is 4m a year and the cafe and the tower near to it, a Grade II listed building, are in serious danger of being lost in the next two or three years unless something is done soon.

The decision whether the Naze is worth saving is very difficult. Both sides have very good arguments whether or not to save the Naze. I think that the Naze is defiantly worth saving, just because some sites are not economically valuable, or some are not environmentally valuable, all of the sites are at least one of those. Sites A and B are worth saving for economical reasons and sites C and D are worth saving for environmental reasons.

Eventually the whole town will erode away if the sea defences are not put in everywhere. There is still a lot of cliff erosion in the unprotected parts of the Naze, as the articles below on the save the Naze website shows.

Cliff footpath goes into the sea

Another huge piece of the Naze cliffs has slipped losing a further half acre of public amenity space and causing Tendring District Council to create a new path along the cliff because of the danger to the public. The slippage was at the spot where the centre hard point of the approved coastal defence scheme was to have been erected for which Tendring District Council would not support a submission for lottery funds. This hard point would have saved this from happening.

Heavy Winter rain takes its toll. This winter the substantial rainfall has caused a greater than normal slippage of sections of cliff, particularly at the Tower groyne and mid-way between there and the northern end. The normal high and vicious winter tides have done their worst and carried away tons of the Naze


I have been trying to explore the hypothesis, 'the costs of extending sea defences at Walton on the Naze are too high and the benefits to small'.

I do not agree with the hypothesis, I feel that Walton-on-the-Naze is worth saving. I think that sites A, B and C should definitely be saved, this is because without these sites, Walton would have no source of income, site A has the pier, restaurants, caf�, amusements, a leisure centre and a car park. All of these pay a business tax that goes into the towns funds, which in turn, helps fund important services (health, emergency, education and environmental).

Site B has the most important source of income of all, the beach, without the beach people would not have a reason to come to Walton, the beach not being there would a have a knock-on effect for the rest of the town, this is shown in my negative multiplier effect diagram, labelled Fig.10. Site C is quite a big money earner for the town; it has a caf�, which pays business tax, houses which pay residential tax, a sewage works and a farm. Also it has a Martello tower, which is a grade 2 listed building, there was an article about the tower on the save the Naze website (fig.15-16), it states that if that area is left and the current rate of erosion stays the same the tower will be gone in 3-5 years.

I think that site D should be protected, even though it has no real economic value, the environmental value is great, there are some very rare birds which visit, also some very rare plants grow there as well. The area is very popular with dog walkers and horse riders; also once people are drawn to Walton because of the wildlife they may well visit the town and the pier and spend some money, so even though the Naze itself does not earn any money it is a way to attract people to the town.

There was a lot of evidence that helped me come to this conclusion, the evaluation sheets we filled in at Walton (Fig 8 & 9) and the graphs I then made of these results (figs 11-14) were especially helpful to me. They helped me understand what other people felt about saving/not saving the Naze. The Save the Naze website was also very important, it showed some of major slippages that have happened recently, and also that Tendring District Council really don't care about Walton. In one of the articles (fig 17) the website tells of how another huge piece of cliff, along with a footpath fell into the sea, and all the council did was erect another footpath alongside the old one, somewhere along the line someone will be walking on a footpath when it collapses and get killed, then everyone will be saying to the council, why wasn't anything done before? They will have no answer.

Part of the Cliff That Has Fallen Down

The most important evidence that helped me to make my decision was the things I saw when we went to Walton, I saw a building that had fallen onto the beach below, where there were no defences, and then to see the site where the defences have been put and have been working. When we went to Walton it was not a particularly nice day but there were many, many people on the beach and again many people in the town itself.


I used many methods to test the hypothesis; these were notes, photographs, field sketches, bi polar graphs and evaluation sheets of each site. The notes and photographs I took were very useful, the photographs really showed the extent of the damage that has been done by erosion and slumping, the sea defences that have been put in place and what is going to be destroyed if more sea defences are not put in. The bi-polar graphs and evaluation sheets were also very successful, the class graphs allowed me to see what other people thought about the Naze.

There are two other methods I would have liked to use, but were not able to. The first of these is a questionnaire; these could have been handed out to walkers and owners of homes and businesses to see how they felt about their council and the place they live being eroded away, this could of enabled me to see if the people of Walton want their town saved. Another way of doing this would be to interview people connected with Walton, someone from the Save the Naze website, someone from the chamber of commerce, someone from the council and owners of homes and businesses. The only problem with this is that it would not give a fair idea, as it is only 4 peoples opinion and not 10 times that if we sent out questionnaires.

In presenting my work, I word-processed my text, added a lot of photographs and used the Internet to find some sources of information from the Save the Naze website. I feel that my work was well presented, as I word-processed everything it looks a lot neater as there are no mistakes and the pages are numbered so to not mix up the pages. One method I would like to have used was Microsoft PowerPoint, so I could show things e.g. How to get to Walton and how slumping happens, in 3.D to help understand what slumping is.

One problem we encountered when we visited Walton was the weather, it rained heavily just as we were going to site B, having been to sites C and D already we had done half of the trip but it was cut short as the rain wouldn't stop. I think I was very organised with the way I did my work, but one thing I would have preferred is that if we would have gone to Walton before we had started the written work, because we had already done the introduction the week before we went, so I feel that if we went before I would have been able to get more information in the introduction.

This essay was written by a fellow student. You can use it as an example when writing your own essay or use it as a source, but you need cite it.

Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses

Starting from 3 hours delivery 450+ experts on 30 subjects
get essay help 124  experts online

Did you know that we have over 70,000 essays on 3,000 topics in our database?

Cite this page

Explore how the human body functions as one unit in harmony in order to life

Extending Sea Defences. (2017, Sep 15). Retrieved from

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer