This is why bulldozers have been on this beach for the last month

Shingle is being moved on Seaford beach <i>(Image: Environment Agency)</i>
Shingle is being moved on Seaford beach (Image: Environment Agency)

Work to recycle four kilometres of a shingle beach is being done to protect a coastal town from flooding.

The work, which started on November 7, sees shingle moved back to the centre of Seaford beach every six months to reduce the impact of high tides and storms on the seafront.

The Environment Agency says it is the most cost-effective method of maintaining the 4km shingle beach.

Shingle is loaded into lorries by an excavator, which then transport the material to where it is needed. Bulldozers then position the shingle into the required location.

Nick Gray, flood and coastal risk manager at the Environment Agency said: “Sea levels are projected to rise by over one metre in the south of England over this century, and with more frequent powerful storms also predicted, the risk of increased coastal erosion and flooding is likely.

“As we enter the winter months, it is essential that the shingle beach is maintained to ensure it continues to provide protection to homes and businesses in Seaford.”

To maintain the required standard of protection along the full length of the beach front, the Environment Agency typically moves up to 60,000 cubic metres of shingle back to the centre of the beach.

The Argus: Bulldozers on the beach
The Argus: Bulldozers on the beach

Bulldozers on the beach (Image: Environment Agency)

Over time, natural coastal processes along the beach move shingle away from the central section of the beach to the northwest (West Beach) and southeast (Splash Point) depending on prevailing wind and wave direction.

The process is known as longshore drift which is when pebbles and shingle are moved along a coast parallel to the shoreline, depending on the angle of the incoming wave direction.

The work for this phase will end on Friday, December 9.

The Argus: View from Seaford Head
The Argus: View from Seaford Head

View from Seaford Head (Image: The Argus)

Work will carry on in February time to continue to protect Seaford from poor weather.

Between 2015 and 2021, the Environment Agency invested over £1.2 billion as part of its £2.6 billion programme to better protect 170,000 properties from coastal flooding.

This included funding of £318.2m for 190 schemes led by coastal protection authorities.