Aerial photos of Happisburgh, spanning 13 years show ravages of coastal erosion

Happisburgh. 26 Feb 2014. Photo: Mike Page

Happisburgh. 26 Feb 2014. Photo: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

If a picture can tell 1,000 words, you could write a book about this trio.

Happisburgh 7 Mar 2010. Photo: Mike Page

Happisburgh 7 Mar 2010. Photo: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Mike Page's awe-inspiring aerial views of Happisburgh, spanning 13 years, say it all - North Sea 1: Man 0.

Happisburgh 6 Dec 2001. Photo: Mike Page

Happisburgh 6 Dec 2001. Photo: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Relentless coastal erosion has seen many metres of land lost to the North Sea's ravages since 2001.

Vulnerable homes have been demolished ahead of their inevitable tumble down the crumbling cliffs, and their occupants have retreated inland.

In the main photo, taken this week, all that now remains of a clutch of Beach Road homes is Bryony Nierop-Reading's garage.

Mrs Nierop-Reading, who defied the waves and stayed put after nine of her neighbours' homes were demolished in spring 2012, finally had to admit defeat after the December 5 storm surge brought her bungalow within feet of the precipice. It was bulldozed a week later.

In the background is the hard-standing of the new Beach Road car park, built as part of North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) 'roll-back' programme which sees at-risk buildings and facilities moved away from the edge.

Most Read

Happisburgh resident Malcolm Kerby, stalwart campaigner on coastal erosion, said the community could be proud of the way it was adapting to change.

Happisburgh suffered because it was the 'soft underbelly,' sandwiched between two sets of hard sea defences.

But he added: 'Hard defences only reduce risk. In the end you cannot stop the sea. We have to learn how to manage our way through the whole problem of climate change.'

Happisburgh had pioneered the use of government Pathfinder cash, administered by NNDC, to move homes inland.

'If people at the front have to move to the back of the village, it will still leave us with a village community, and a coastline,' he added.

'Better than anywhere else in the country, Happisburgh has proved that it is not a dead duck.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter