Beacons could highlight ‘extreme hazard’ dragon’s teeth on Kessingland beach
PUBLISHED: 19:00 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:45 28 February 2019
Beacons could be installed on a Suffolk beach to warn swimmers of Second World War coastal defences uncovered by erosion.
Kessingland beach is home to examples of the metal “dragon’s teeth” defences and as well as tank traps, which have been described as dangerous by visitors.
Now the Crown Estate, which own the foreshore, say they are looking into possible changes to highlight the issue.
Brian Scott, from Stowmarket, raised concerns after he visited the area recently.
Mr Scott said: “These extreme hazards are not far from Kessingland Caravan Park.
“Anyone who is in the sea at this point, maybe as low tide approaches, wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Mr Scott’s concerns were reflected by Kessingland Parish Council, which has been working to have the teeth removed from the beach to protect those living in the area and tourists.
Sid James, vice-chairman and beach warden for the Parish Council said: “The parish council has been lobbying for the removal of the dragons teeth and the old rusting tank traps for a number of years now.
“We want everyone who lives or visits Kessingland beach to be able to enjoy this wonderful stretch of the coast and to be able to do so safely.
“At the very least, warning signs need to be erected in the immediate vicinity of the former beach defences so that bathers are made aware of the danger.”
A spokesman for The Crown Estate said: “We are aware of the old War Department defences at Kessingland, which are located within The Crown Estate-owned foreshore and the adjoining beach, which is owned by the local authority.
“We continue to make public safety a priority and maintain a regular inspection regime of these structures. Signs are in place at public access points to the foreshore and the beach to warn of the defences.
“We are engaged with the local stakeholders and relevant bodies on the future of these historical installations, and are exploring the potential of erecting fixed beacons in the water and the possible removal of the defences. “The Kessingland coastline is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest so any works would require careful management and consultation with environmental partners.”
A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: “We are aware that the Crown Estate has installed signage advising people visiting the beach about these structures and we would advise people to take extra care in this area, avoiding the structures as much as possible.
“We are continuing to liaise with both Kessingland Parish Council and the Crown Estate – our understanding is that the latter are responsible for the foreshore and seabed. It is thought that there are a number of historical structures buried under a broad section of the beaches at Kessingland; a significant proportion of the beach and dunes in this area are environmentally sensitive having been designated as, for example, a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’.”