£50,000 for Blyth Estuary repairs

At least £50,000 is to be spent on repairing some sections of damaged flood defences along the Blyth Estuary, officials at the Environment Agency announced yesterday.

At least £50,000 is to be spent on repairing some sections of damaged flood defences along the Blyth estuary, officials at the Environment Agency announced yesterday.

Contractors will start work at Robinson's Marsh, in Walberswick, on Monday, but a question mark still hangs over the future of defences at neighbouring Tinker's Marsh.

The damage caused during the tidal surges of November 9 came just weeks after the agency revealed plans to abandon the defences of the Blyth estuary over a 20-year period because of a lack of money.

Seawater entered Tinker's Marsh and then flowed into Robinson's Marsh, washing away sections of the Palmer's Lane footpath. It is estimated that the breach in the footpath is four metres deep in places and about 30m long.

Seawater is continuing to enter the marshes at high tide and the agency is planning to protect Robinson's Marsh by repairing the footpath and sea wall using several hundred one-tonne bags of clay.

The bags will form a foundation on which the footpath and river wall can be rebuilt and the work will take several weeks to complete.

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Dr Charles Beardall, eastern area manager for the agency, said: "The work we are doing here is in line with our proposed strategy of flood risk management for the Blyth estuary.

"We are also looking at exactly how the surge affected the estuary and using the information to finalise the strategy next year.

"We are still assessing the situation at Tinker's Marsh."

The proposed Blyth estuary strategy is open for consultation and can be viewed at www.suffolkestuaries.co.uk

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