Adaptive Management of East Head
As part of our Coastal Management strategy, we have agreed the first steps which will be carried out to reduce the risk of a breach of the delicate part of the sand spit known as The Hinge at East Head.
The work is planned to start in January 2014 (weather permitting) and will be carried out under the aegis of the East Head Coastal Issues Advisory Group (EHCIAG). EHCIAG was set up to manage the Adaptive Management process at East Head and includes a range of organisations, stakeholders and experts in coastal environmental management that are listed below.
Our overall strategy is called "Adaptive Management" which involves taking steps to achieve equilibrium between the sea and the land with a workable strategy to avoid a breach at The Hinge, and to maintain public access to East Head.
The work will be carried out by engineers from Chichester District Council and will consist of:
1. Removing failed gabions (the wire baskets holding the stones) with the stones being left naturally on the beach at the western end.
2. Adjusting the height of some of the groynes (the horizontal planks going out to sea), and replace and repair some others to enhance the collection or movement of sand and shingle.
This is to allow a natural process to occur which will include some erosion and some natural rebuilding of material at this area. As the beach area moves back, it is envisaged that a more natural beach shape will form providing a better profile for long term protection of the immediate area.
Planning consent is also being sought to allow recharges with sand and shingle at The Hinge from time to time to keep a safe width and height at the critical point. The area is monitored regularly and EHCIAG works closely together to ensure that the area is actively managed.
Cakeham Manor Estate
Chichester District Council
Chichester Harbour Conservancy
FG Woodger Trust
West Wittering Estate
West Wittering Parish Council
Photo by David Swayne