Birling Gap - South Downs
The National Trust own the coastline around Birling Gap. Since the end of the last century there has been a row between the previous owners and those living in the small hamlet about protecting the coast here, the former with support of the government wanted to let nature take its course, whilst the latter wants some kind of beach defence built below the cliff. The problem of erosion is compounded by the geological structure of the low lying cliff here which is made up of Combe Rock which is more susceptible to saturation and erosion of both combined with the position of Birling Gap itself which receives the full force of the south westerly wave action at the cliff base. The result is that over a metre of cliff is lost every year and this rate has been increasing since the 1960s.
National ParkHeritage Coastseascapecliffscoastalcoastlinecoastal erosionbeach