Recycling beach shingle to minimize flood risk

The Environment Agency will start shingle recycling at Seaford beach to ensure the sea defense’s continued protection for the future.

The project is helpful as leaving the beach with recycling project will lead to exposure of sea wall.

According to the River Ouse to Seaford Head Coastal Defense Strategy, 700 residential and 350 commercial properties will be at risk of flooding in Seaford and east Newhaven if this happens.

By carrying out the recycling work it is possible to maintain the defenses at Seaford in readiness for the spring tides and stormy winter weather, said, David Robinson, flood and coastal risk operations manager, Solent and South Downs Area.

Shingle recycling at Seaford has been identified as the most cost-effective method for maintaining the beach for coastal protection and recreational purposes, whilst still allowing natural coastal processes to continue, continued Robinson.


The four kilometer shingle beach takes energy from waves, protecting the old sea wall and minimizing shingle and wave overtopping. In due time, natural coastal processes shifts the shingle towards north west and south east depending on wind and wave direction.

Two times each year, the Environment Agency transfers 60,000 cubic meters of shingle back to the beach center, loading and transporting to needed places later.

The beach is monitored and surveyed for regular information on shingle volumes. During winter storms in 2013, significant quantities of shingle have been shifted to the north west of the beach.

Recycling is starting this year Autumn which will see a four week duration of transportation process. An Environment Agency bulldozer will be situated on the frontage between October and March.

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