• ONLY TWO PLACES LEFT TO EXPLORE SUFFOLK'S SHINGLE

    ONLY TWO PLACES LEFT TO EXPLORE SUFFOLK'S SHINGLE

    We haven't even had a chance to advertise it yet but we've only got two places left for this unique opportunity to explore our Suffolk shingle at Aldeburgh.

  • LIFE & DEATH AT BARBER'S POINT

    LIFE & DEATH AT BARBER'S POINT

    What do the remains of a squirrel and a cat, hazelnut shells, a field maple casket and a salt working settlement all have in common? They were all part of the surprising results from the 2013 excavations at Barber’s Point.

  • COASTAL CHAMPIONS

    COASTAL CHAMPIONS

    Schoolchildren in Felixstowe (aka eco-warriors!) had a unique opportunity to explore their environment at Landguard Nature Reserve.

  • STORMING!

    STORMING!

    One of our Tidal Margins art workshop participants has gone on to exhibition success.

  • A BIRD IN THE HAND

    A BIRD IN THE HAND

    Please look after this bird …

  • NOW THAT'S WHAT YOU CALL TOUCHING THE TIDE!

    NOW THAT'S WHAT YOU CALL TOUCHING THE TIDE!

    Work has started at Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Hazlewood Marshes Nature Reserve supported by Touching the Tide.

  • SNAP HAPPY

    SNAP HAPPY

    Budding photographers learnt to maximise their camera skills over the autumn and winter months at workshops with Tony Pick in Aldeburgh. 

  • ANIMAL ART FOR ALL

    ANIMAL ART FOR ALL

    Over 600 people took part in three days of drop-in art during the February half-term at Ipswich Museum.

  • STUDYING AT SHINGLE STREET?

    STUDYING AT SHINGLE STREET?

    A new code of conduct has been launched for outdoor field studies at Shingle Street.

  • WALK THE LINE

    WALK THE LINE

    Almost 40 hardy volunteers braved the January weather over 2 days to walk a field in Covehithe looking for flints, pottery and other evidence of previous human occupation.

  • TOO MUCH TO MENTION!

    TOO MUCH TO MENTION!

    Which Touching the Tide event will you dive into?

  • HANGING AROUND WITH MY FRIENDS
  • WILD ABOUT THE BEACH

    WILD ABOUT THE BEACH

    As well as working with Suffolk schools throughout the three years of Touching the Tide, Suffolk Wildlife Trust have also been running "Wild Beach".

  • GET INVOLVED!

    GET INVOLVED!

    Love your coast?  There are lots of ways to help us look after this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

  • DUNWICH TO THE CORE

    DUNWICH TO THE CORE

    Some lucky people in Dunwich got to see peat that had not seen the light of day for approximately two thousand years, the time of the Iron Age.

  • HOLLESLEY: A WETLAND WILDLIFE WONDERLAND

    HOLLESLEY: A WETLAND WILDLIFE WONDERLAND

    In 2013, the damp meadows of RSPB Hollesley Marshes were transformed into a wetland paradise teeming with wildlife.

  • DIGGING UP THE PAST IN SOUTHWOLD & REYDON
  • FLOTSAM, JETSAM & "FISHERLADS"

    FLOTSAM, JETSAM & "FISHERLADS"

    Coastal Inspiration.

  • SUFFOLK SHINGLE

    SUFFOLK SHINGLE

    Our shingle beaches may seem commonplace to us here in Suffolk but shingle that is stable enough to support plants is rare.

  • NEW SECRETS FROM ‘BRITAIN'S ATLANTIS’

    NEW SECRETS FROM ‘BRITAIN'S ATLANTIS’

    A new shipwreck has been found off the coast of Dunwich.

 

What is Touching the Tide?

by Bill Jenman, Touching the Tide Project Manager. If someone asks what we’re about, I always talk about East Lane, Bawdsey.

This part of the coast was eroding rapidly, threatening two houses and the historic Martello Tower. Previously, the Government simply paid for coast defences, but by 2009 there was much less public money around so the new rock armour was partly paid for by innovative “enabling developments.” Twenty-six new houses were built in areas where they wouldn’t previously have been permitted, with the profits going to fund the new defences.

  • The money from the “enabling developments” allowed government and other funds to be “levered in” to pay for the work
  • Rock armour is an extremely effective coastal defence which will protect the houses and tower for a very long time

But…

  • The tonnes and tonnes of Norwegian boulders have cut off access to the beach – many people also think the granite looks very out of place in Suffolk
  • The project was extremely expensive – £2.4m for about 1 km (1000 yards) of defences
  • The new houses were controversial in the villages where they were built
  • Erosion “downstream” – to the south – has accelerated hugely now that the supply of new beach material coming down the coast has been stopped. Farmland is being lost to save the houses and tower.

But there again…

  • The eroding cliffs just south of the defences are revealing an amazing cross section through an Ice Age landscape, with the remains of ice wedges and flint tools appearing out of the cliffs – the south beach is now a brilliant place to see how the landscape has changed over thousands of years, from inland tundra to coastal cliff

So what do you think? 

Different people (original residents, owners of the new homes, beach visitors, archaeologists) will all have a different viewpoint.

If you now understand this complexity, but still have your own view, Touching the Tide has done its job. Next time coastal change comes up, in the pub or in a formal consultation, please take part in the debate and help to shape the future of our changing coast.