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Project OASIS: Who said we can’t defend our coastline?

July 16, 2012

What is the only thing that can withstand the forces of nature?

Following is a quote from Channa Bambaradeniya, Programme Co-ordinator, IUCN ka, who witnessed the great 2004 Tsunami first-hand – “Amidst the piles of rubble, as strong as a beacon of light in the cruel darkness, stand clumps of trees – seemingly undisturbed by the force that struck them over a fateful Sunday. Sandunes and mangroves seem to have sheltered its neighbours from the force of the disaster. Only nature seemed to have been able to stand up to nature.”

Enough said? More soon…

If you haven’t already, please click through to find out how we could defend our coastline by planting trees:





One Comment leave one →
  1. October 31, 2012 4:41 pm

    Sad negative opposing comment printed in Eastern Daily Press.

    Coastal erosion at Beach Road, Happisburgh. Bryony Nierop-Reading at her home. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY
    Norfolk’s Queen Canute cannot turn back the tide of council tax demand
    Thursday, October 25, 2012
    4:08 PM

    A battle over council tax between a determined north Norfolk resident and its district council has been settled in court.

    Got a story?
    Coastal erosion at Beach Road, Happisburgh. Bryony Nierop-Reading at her home. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY
    Bryony Nierop-Reading made national headlines when she dug in her heels and refused to sell her erosion-threatened clifftop bungalow on Happisburgh’s Beach Road to North Norfolk District Council.

    The 67-year-old lives in the last remaining bungalow perched on top of the 80ft cliff after watching her neighbours’ homes demolished in April.

    She bought the house in 2008 for just £25,000 and has rejected government money to leave her home because she loves it so much.

    The grandmother-of-six had since become embroiled in a dispute over paying her council tax to the district council.

    This morning at Norwich Magistrates Court a complaint was lodged by the district council for a council tax liability order to be issued to Mrs Nierop-Reading for the amount of £673.40.

    The request was granted by magistrates after Mrs Nierop-Reading made a late decision to not speak in court.


    Bryony Nierop-Reading. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

    ‘Queen Canute’ wants her Happisburgh home to be used for tree defence trial scheme
    By Alex Hurrell, Reporter Saturday, June 16, 2012
    11:19 AM

    A Queen Canute whose home on a crumbling cliff edge will one day topple into the North Sea is offering her garden for an experiment to try and weaken the waves’ power.

    Got a story?
    Bryony Nierop-Reading, the only remaining resident of an otherwise-demolished row of homes on Happisburgh’s Beach Road, believes a tree defences scheme, aimed at slowing down coastal erosion, could work.

    But one community leader says the idea is fanciful and another believes it is cruel in offering false hope.

    Mrs Nierop-Reading and other supporters are now trying to form a new Happisburgh group aimed at getting permission for the trial.

    The idea was explained at a public meeting in Happisburgh by Greg Peachey and Andrew Fletcher of the Watford-based Fredome Visionary Trust, who claimed it was already working in parts of New Zealand.

    It would see the cliff sloped, reinforced with gabion defences – metal cages filled with rock, broken concrete or similar substances – and planted with beach grasses to hold the soil, followed later by trees.

    Mrs Neirop-Reading, 66, said she was “incredibly excited” after the meeting, which had offered a ray of hope after depressing years of government negativity and watching the demolition of her neighbours’ homes.

    If successful, she said the scheme would not only buy her more time in the setting she loved but might persuade others to take it up on a much larger scale.

    “If we do nothing to stall erosion our country is going to get smaller and smaller,”” she said.

    “We’re prepared to protect the Falkland Islands thousands of miles away but when it comes to our own little island we sit and watch it disappear bit by bit.”

    But Malcolm Kerby, of the Coastal Concern Action Group, said he personally felt the scheme was a “complete waste of time” because government policy along the Happisburgh coastline was moving away from hard sea defences, such as gabions, and would not allow them to be used.

    It would be better to concentrate on trying to change government policy, he said.

    Mr Kerby felt Happisburgh residents had suffered a “real bashing” over the years coping with the effects of coastal erosion. With the government Pathfinder cash, helping the community adjust to the changes, he felt they were now just about on an even keel again.

    “To raise their hopes and expectations is just going to cause trouble and, in my view, is cruel in the extreme,” he said.

    Glen Berry, chairman of Happisburgh Parish Council, said he felt the plan was “pie in the sky”.

    But Mr Fletcher defended the meeting and said they wanted to offer Happisburgh people real hope after years of being told nothing could be done.

    He added: “It’s ridiculous to say it can’t be done because government policy won’t allow it. Governments do policy U-turns all the time.”

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