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Engineers move in to replenish the beaches at Heacham and Snettisham

14:34 24 February 2014

Work is under way on the annual beach re-charge at Snettisham. Picture: Ian Burt

Work is under way on the annual beach re-charge at Snettisham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

Environment Agency engineers have started their annual repairs to the shingle banks between Snettisham and Heacham.

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Emergency repairs have already been carried out to areas damaged by last December’s storm surges, which reduced the width of the banks by 75% in places.

Now regular maintenance, which involves bringing thousands of tonnes of shingle which get washed away towards Snettisham Scalp back to the beaches.

Ryan Ely, EA technical specialist, said: “We generally use around 7,000 cubic metres of sand and shingle to reinforce the defences, with this stage of the work bringing the defences back to the right standard.”

Dumpers will move the sand and shingle from Snettisham Scalp, where it’s pushed by the sea over the winter, back to the areas that have lost material. It is then shaped by bulldozers to ensure the width, height and profile of the shingle ridge is reinstated. The ridge then acts as a more natural soft defence, protecting the coastal community from flooding.

The work is being carried out before the start of the bird breeding season and will be completed before the start of the main tourist season.

Including the emergency works, the total repairs to the defences will cost around £150,000 this year.

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