At the meeting of February 24, Professor Robert Duck gave a fantastic illustrated presentation on coastal erosion, entitled “This Shrinking Land.”
With copies of articles from various newspapers dated 1901 and 1911, Robert demonstrated that coastal erosion is nothing new and some 500 metres of land had fallen victim to the stormy seas. Since Roman times two to three miles of Yorkshire coast had disappeared.
In 1685, an act of Parliament forbade the removal of items from the beach that helped maintain its integrity with a penalty of £10 being imposed on transgressors.
Up to around 100,000 years ago Scandinavia and northern Europe was covered in many metres of ice, suppressing the land mass. As the ice melted the sea levels rose and the land started uplifting, and in some areas continues to do so today thereby negating some of the effect of the rising sea.
As sea level rose, land masses were broken up, an example of this is Orkney, once an unbroken island, now an archipelago of some 70 islands, this being the case of many island groups.
The building of harbour walls was a major contributor to the coastal erosion and gabions, rock armour and revetments were a few of many methods used as coastal defence measures but it simply moves the problems a little further along the coast by flanking erosion.
As the sea levels continue to rise it confirms that climate change is occurring, evidenced by the lack of major rivers freezing over in winter, as was the case in the early 1900s.
After many questions, ably answered, John Gove proposed thanks