Environment Agency's £7m beach management work to reduce flood risk for coastal communities begins

A £7million beach management programme to reduce flood risk for our coastal communities began yesterday (Tuesday).
Mablethorpe beach.Mablethorpe beach.
Mablethorpe beach.

Annual works by the Environment Agency to reduce the risk of flooding on beaches between Saltfleet and Gibraltar Point will see 400,000 cubic metres of sand topped up on beaches over the next six to seven weeks to reduce the risk of flooding to 20,000 homes and businesses, 24,500 static caravans and 35,000 hectares of land.

The Environment Agency’s annual beach management sees sand dredged from licensed areas of the seabed and pumped onto the beach to replace levels naturally lost to the sea throughout the year, reducing the risk of flooding.

Replenishing the sand means that the beaches, instead of hard defences like sea walls, take the brunt of the waves’ force and energy.

This reduces the amount of damage and erosion to those hard defences and lessens the risk of water overtopping them.

The Environment Agency has been restoring sand levels on the Lincolnshire coast every year since 1994. In addition to reducing flood risk, the work brings supplementary social and economic benefits by retaining the sandy beaches for a vibrant tourism industry.

Deborah Campbell, Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “As well as reducing the risk of flooding, the work helps maintain the county’s sandy beaches for us all to enjoy.

“But despite our best efforts, flooding can still happen. That’s why we urge people to prepare and plan for the worst, including by signing up to receive free flood warnings.”

Works began at Huttoft yesterday (May 8) and will continue until Friday, and will progress along the coast in stages at these approximate dates (subject to change):

• Mablethorpe – May 13 to 15

• Trusthorpe – May 16 to 23

• Sutton on Sea – May 24 to 25

• Boygrift – May 26 to 31

• Chapel Six Marshes – June 1 to June 5

• Trunch Lane – June 6 to June 11

• Ingoldmells – June 11 to June 15

• Wolla Bank – June 15 to June 18

People visiting these beaches on days that work is under way are asked to stay clear of the worksites.

The £7m beach management work is funded as part of the Environment Agency’s capital programme – a record £5.2bn government investment in England’s flood and coastal defences to better protect hundreds of thousands of properties by 2027.

The Environment Agency urges people to plan ahead for flooding by finding out if their property is in an at-risk area; signing up for free flood warnings; and knowing in advance what to do. Further information on all these steps and more is available at GOV.UK/Flood and by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.