At Pett level (Fairlight) the coastline management is a hard engineered solution. The sea wall is curved to stop the enormous amounts of wave energy. The curve in the sea wall also acts as a flood barrier because when the waves come they are reflected back and this stops the flooding of the houses behind the wall and the flooding of the Romney marsh, which is flat and subject able to flooding. The beach at Pett level have a number of wooden groynes going along the beach to reduce longshore drift and to trap the shingle and sand from going down the coast, the beach is often renourished with the pebbles, shingle and sand which has got to the other end of the beach.
The cliffs at Fairlight are called “cliff end”. The cliffs are made of very strong sandstone and less resistant material clay. The cliffs are always subjected able to immense amount of wave energy at the bottom of the cliffs but at the top of the cliffs that also is subjected able from weathering above. Down the coast a little way you come to Fairlight cove and there you will see a groyne, which is made out of Norwegian blue granite. The boulders are mage out of granite because if you used sandstone boulders, over time they would erode and be no use to anybody. I looked closely to the boulders and I saw that the boulders nearer the sea were more rounded than the boulders nearer the cliff because the wave energy hits the boulders nearer to the sea thus rounding them off.
Camber sands are situated on the East Sussex coast. They are a natural tourist haven attracting hundreds in the summer months. Here you will find long stretches of sand dunes and at low tide flat sandy beaches. The dunes at camber have formed due to at low tide the prevailing wind blowing the exposed sand in a southwesterly direction on to where the dunes now sit. Unlike at Fairlight here I found a lot of vegetation growing through the sand on the dunes. The sand builds up around plants, debris and fences. The marram grass that covers most of the dunes has a deep root system, which helps to hold the sand in place. Fences, which have been placed along the beach, prevent the dunes from moving. This solution is a soft engineering solution because at camber they have only put fences in; I saw no sign of wooden groynes to stop longshore drift or even a boulder groyne to limit the amount of wave energy that hits Camber.
The aim of my investigation was to decide whether the statement “Coastal Management is more effective at Fairlight than at Camber” was correct. My other aims were to go and study the two sites and note down and take field sketches/photos of Camber sand and Fairlight.
At Fairlight and at Camber to get the data we needed to complete the task, we used a clinometer at metre intervals. Then we read what the reading was on the protractor, and that was the angle of the beach slope and dune slope. We also had to note down next to it whether the slope was going up or down. Below is the table that I put all my data in that I collected for Fairlight and from Camber. The table shown below is the results that I got for Fairlight.
As you can see from the table, at site 1 my group and I only managed to collect and record 32 pieces of data when we should have 100 pieces of data, the reason for this is because we didn’t get allocated enough time to collect all 100 pieces of data. But on the other hand at Camber we managed luckily to collect and record the whole 100.
Another piece of data we had to collect and record at the 2 sites was ground cover. For this we had to place a quadrat on the slope every 5 meters and record what was inside this quadrat. The quadrat was split up in to one hundred squares and each square represented 1% so the whole quadrat represented 100%. We put the results under four headings, Pebbles (P), sand (S), vegetation (V) and litter (L).
Analysis & Conclusions
Firstly the data in my groundcover table show what I saw when I put my quadrat down on the beach. As you can see from Camber sands, most of the ground is sand vegetation; there is little pebbles or litter unlike Fairlight where there were loads of pebbles and rocks but very little sand or vegetation. The size of the beaches was very different. If you look at the beach profiles you can easily see that the beach is higher at Camber than at Fairlight. The beach at Fairlight is considerably thinner than the beach at camber. I think this is because at Fairlight there is a big cliff, which protrudes into the sea thus making the cliff closer to the sea thus making it thinner.
I chose to include groundcover because it ties in well with the beach profile. It goes well because as you go up or down the beach you can see what the floor is made up of, and you can quite easily plot the two on the same graph, like I have done.
In my own opinion I have proved my hypothesis to be true. At camber sands the coastal management was poor. On a windy day like it was when I went all the sand was blowing on the top of the dunes and going across the beach and ending up somewhere else. They only had rotten wooden fences to keep the sand from blowing away and to be quite honest it wasn’t working. A Fairlight on the other hand when longshore drift occurs it moves the pebbles and stones down the beach then at the other end of the beach they collect up the stones and pebbles and take it back to Fairlight. They are always renourishing the beach. They had a concrete revetment was working and the wooden groynes were in place a stopping most of the longshore drift.
At Fairlight they seem to do a lot more to protect the coastline than they do at camber sands. When I was there I saw what looked like a new groynes and I spoke to a local resident and he said that they are planning to put a lot more groynes in along the beach.
If I were to do this project again I would make it so that we could have had a lot more time so that we could take in what the environment was like. More time allocated would mean that I could of done more field sketches. We could have also had time to collect more primary data like wave height or pebble size and shape. I would also try and find a bit of the beach at Fairlight that was one hundred metres wide so that the results I collected could have been more precise. This project has been a worthwhile project and if I could go to Fairlight and at camber again I would just to go a collect more results to enable me to get a higher mark.