Photo gallery: DIY coastal erosion defences being put in place on Hemsby beach
- Credit: Nick Butcher
More than £9,000 of concrete is being loaded onto Hemsby beach as the campaign to protect the crumbling coastlines picks up speed.
The Save Hemsby Coastline campaigners, including local residents, businesses and supporters of the east coast beach resort, were 'over the moon' yesterday as the DIY sea defences they have long called for finally started taking shape.
The Geoffrey Watling Trust, which owns the beach, gave locals permission to push ahead with concrete block defences earlier this year and have paid about £11,000 - including £9,100 for the first 70 blocks - to be installed along the Marrams in a bid to protect the dunes from the biting tide.
If this trial run is successful, the £18,000 raised by Save Hemsby Coastline could be used to buy and install more blocks running all the way from Hemsby gap the Newport.
'We have the first 70 concrete blocks on the dune line and we could not be happier,' said Lorna Bevan-Thompson, campaigner and landlord of the Lacon Arms in Hemsby.
'When we started this group in April, there were many people who doubted we would be able to raise any money at all, let alone get the project started. But they did not count on the huge number of people who have deep ties to Hemsby, both physical and emotional.
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'From the local residents to the day trippers and holiday makers, we have had nothing but support and good will. This is an amazing achievement - but only the start'
Mrs Bevan-Thompson said phase two is due to start within the next three weeks.
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It is hoped the concrete blocks, each costing £70, will have an immediate affect on Hemsby beach and dunes, but it will be a number of months if not an entire year until there is proof the scheme has longevity and has not affected neighbouring beaches.
On October 11, a man living in wooden bungalow on the dunes was moved to temporary accommodation in Great Yarmouth after days of stormy weather took their toll. Hemsby lifeboat shed has also been abandoned for the second time this year with the crew unable to launch and huge anti-tank defences from the second world war were exposed near Hemsby gap.
The 60-year-old defences have since been moved to help protect the lifeboat shed, but the public are still urged to be careful of the unstable sand dunes.