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Historical Review

Historical studies record that between 1741 and 1884 the shingle bank at Walmer Castle increased in width by one hundred and fifteen metres, while the bank at Sandown receded by sixty metres. There is evidence to suggest that this reversal was due to a change in the orientation of the Goodwin Sands and the Downs channel in-shore of the banks.

Since that time conditions have remained unaltered, and the erosion to the north of Deal and the accretion to the south has continued.

More recently the effect has been modified, as already shown, by the reduction of beach supplies caused in part by coastal works to the south.

There are now indications that the point at which accretion gives place to erosion is moving southward, and that it has reached some point south of Deal Pier. Erosion at Kingsdown is in the meantime moving northwards, due to the reduction in the rate of supply of material from the south.

In the past two hundred years there has been a rotation of the coastline between Walmer and Deal of about three degrees in an anti-clockwise direction.

To maintain the present shoreline by hard defences and additional sediment supply is likely to require greater and greater expenditure both at local and national level. Predictions of global warming and the consequential sea level rises, mean that solutions will need to be found to raise the level of sea defences without increasing the investment required. The focus is changing from hard defences to soft defences and to working with nature.


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