'Dragon's teeth' sea defences to be removed from beach

Second World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, in Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock

Work is under way to remove Second World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, from Kessingland beach. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock - Credit: Hayley Adcock

Work is under way to remove a series of Second World War tank defences from a stretch of beach.

The coastal defences had been planted to prevent enemy landings during the Second World War at Kessingland beach, near Lowestoft.

But after being uncovered by erosion over recent years the ‘dragon’s teeth’ defences - consisting of vertical iron spikes that were installed as a tank landing deterrent - were being removed this week.

Second World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, at Kessingland. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock

Work is under way to remove the Second World War sea defences, known as Dragon's Teeth, from Kessingland beach. PHOTO: Hayley Adcock - Credit: Hayley Adcock

The Crown Estate, which owns the foreshore, is carrying out work to remove the metal sections of the dragon’s teeth which are exposed on the beach at low tide.

A notice to mariners issued by The Crown Estate, surrounding the "removal of WW2 tank defences from Kessingland beach" states: "Operations to remove sections of the WW2 tank defences at Kessingland beach will be undertaken on March 30/31.

"This will be undertaken using vehicles accessing the site from the public highway and along routes pre-agreed by relevant regulators and landowners.

"Removal works will be undertaken in daylight hours and are anticipated to be focused three hours either side of low water where light allows.

"This may be extended in response to conditions and mobilisation/demobilisation.

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"Vessels are requested to pass the marked areas at slow speed to minimise vessel wash."

A spokesman for the Coastal Partnership East said: "The Crown Estate will be removing WW2 tank defences from Kessingland beach on March 30 and March 31." 

East Suffolk Council Tweeted: "Work is taking place at Kessingland Beach this week, as The Crown Estate remove the World War II defences known as 'dragon's teeth'.

"Work is expected to be complete within a few days and any disruption will be kept to a minimum."

A Marine Management consultation, which ran earlier this year, proposed the metal spikes and scaffold tank trap structures be removed.

Back then, it stated: "Due to the public safety risk these structures pose, The Crown Estate are proposing to remove the scaffold structures, as well as removing the metal sections of the dragon’s teeth which are exposed on the beach at low tide.

"Once the removal works are complete, fixed marker beacons are to be installed in the water to mark the extent of the remaining dragon’s teeth and concrete blocks, and to minimise the risk arising from these potential hazards to the general public."

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