Sea Defence 2018

Update 10/12/2018

Although the weekend’s storms fell on the lesser of December’s spring tides, there was some erosion in places.  Therefore, with plant becoming available from Eastbourne as works there were completed, it makes sense to use them now whilst they are in the area.  Hopefully one week should be sufficient to complete repairs, leaving a further week of bulldozer work before the bigger spring tides over Christmas.

Unless the weather demands otherwise, we hope to keep the beach machine free over Christmas and New Year - a policy that has not always been successful, but we can always hope

Update 23/11/2018

The current phase of recycling will finish this afternoon, with the bulldozer remaining to both tidy up and push up the ridge of shingle that is building as the next spring tide approaches.  Light Easterly winds continue to dominate until the middle of next week, by when water levels from this weekend’s higher tides will have dropped off.

The first December spring tides are quite low, so pose a lesser threat, meaning the next tides greater than 7.5mCD arrive on Christmas Eve.  By then hopefully everything will be back is was before the storms of early November.

Update 12/11/2018

After the two storms last week, it was inevitable that we would have to restart recycling this week.  With two weeks until the next spring tide there should be sufficient time to ensure the beach is adequately reinstated.  At this time is not possible to say where and when we will be working in different areas.  As much anything we need to determine where shingle is available to be recycled back to eroded areas before we can plan ahead

Update 23/10/2018

Weather forecasts through to the end of the month remain good, so machines currently recycling shingle along the beach will leave on Friday, with only one bulldozer remaining.  High tides are now in the middle of the day, so there is less room for dump trucks to manoeuvre at the top of the beach. Hence there may be a bit of chopping and changing during the day.  Generally, works will focus on reinforcing Beachlands before moving west at the end of the week.  Reprofiling will start at Normans Bay East on Monday 29th October

Update 15/10/2018

Bypassing of shingle round Sovereign Harbour was completed on Friday, so now machines have relocated to Cooden.  This week works will concentrate on moving shingle from Cooden Beach to Herbrand Walk and Normans Bay, particularly to the east of Normans Bay outfall where two groyne bays in particular eroded during the summer.

Work is likely to continue through next week, but if the weather remains calm then all machines bar a bulldozer will once again leave the beach

Update 28/09/2018

With summer fading fast it is time to start preparations for the first autumnal storms.  Whilst the beach is generally in good condition, shingle has built up on the Langney side of Sovereign Harbour and needs to be bypassed round the marina and placed on the north east beach.  Machines now on site will start moving shingle at 07:30 on Monday, with work expected to last between one and two weeks.

Thereafter it is expected that beach recycling will start at Cooden for a week or so.  However as that will be more weather dependent I will confirm where and when it will start nearer the time

Update 23/07/2018

Dredger Sospan Dau is due in Newhaven for minor maintenance this week, before starting annual beach replenishment works.  Shingle deliveries to the east side of Sovereign Harbour are expected to start on either Friday 27th or Saturday 28th July and last 7 or 8 days.

Unsurprisingly, weather delays are not expected

Update 27/04/2018

Some of you may have spotted that no Public Forum has been advertised this year.  At the request of Pevensey Parish Council we have agreed instead to participate in the Council’s annual Information Day, which is being held tomorrow 28th April between 10:00 and 13:00 in St. Wilfrid’s and the Baptist Church Halls. 

Being held on a Saturday will mean some people who can’t attend our normal mid-week Forum will now be able to do so.  On the other hand, it doesn’t look as though the weather is going to be too helpful!

Update 11/04/2018

Beach recycling has finished this afternoon and hopefully will be the final beach works for the winter.  The bulldozer will be here until Friday finishing off and tidying up generally.  Other than that, with any luck, machines will not be back until autumn.

Update 23/03/2018

Although there have been plenty of gales – and cold – since January, none have been significant.  With April almost in sight, hopefully winter storms are now past.  Predominant easterly winds have moved the beach into some unusual positions, so there is a little work to do before we can start to think that winter is really over.

Environment Agency work at Seaford finishes today, so we will be using Ovenden machines from there, starting on Monday.  Normally I would hope that everything could be completed in two weeks, but with the Easter Bank Holidays taking out two days, works will most likely extend into the second week of April before finishing for the summer

At this stage there are no plans to move shingle long distance along the beach.  We expect to work at Normans Bay East on Monday, and thereafter next week at Cooden to Herbrand Walk.  From Tuesday 3rd April I would expect machines to be between Normans Bay West and  Beachlands and thereafter towards 'The Sandcastle' and 'White Horses'

Update 29/01/2018

Hopefully this week will see the end to recycling for the time being.  Although some brief periods of strong wind are forecast later in the week, they quickly swing NW so should have limited effect over next weekend’s spring tides.

Today and tomorrow shingle will be sourced from Herbrand Walk beach huts. By Wednesday machines should be bolstering Beachlands from the west end of the concrete wall between Normans Bay West and Normans Bay East.  Thursday the source will be from the Camping & Caravan Club beach, also to Beachlands, before finishing the week by Pevensey outfalls and moving beach to The Promenade.

Doubtless they will be back before spring arrives, but it would be nice to think they will not be needed for a few weeks

Update 17/01/2018

The weather this week has been sufficiently rough to prevent machines accessing Langney beach throughout the day this week, so it is no longer viable to continue at present.  The bypassing team has therefore stopped tonight.  In all likelihood at least one more week will be required before the winter season finishes at the end of March.

The section of wavescreen seaward of the defences at Herbrand Walk level crossing that was damaged just over a week ago is also being repaired, and it is expected that this will take around 4 weeks

Recycling continues, with machines now having reached Cooden and working back to Normans Bay outfall.  This is expected to continue through next week as well.  Although it is forecast to be very windy again tonight, the biggest waves are predicted for low water tomorrow morning before they start to die away before high water tomorrow.

Hopefully things will quieten down soon

Update 05/01/2018

Although tides are now falling from springs to neaps, there is plenty to do before the beach can be considered back to normal.  Recycling at Normans Bay East is complete for now, with work switching to Beachlands from Monday.  Thereafter machines will head for Cooden, before moving west.  Since erosion west of 'The Sandcastle' is relatively minor, this may be completed by bulldozers alone in due course.

In the meantime it has been decided to start bypassing shingle round Sovereign Harbour from Monday 8th, since this week’s storms have pushed more sediment towards the harbour, so it needs to be removed while it is still accessible

A busy couple of weeks ahead, hopefully not to undone by another set of gales on the next spring tides

Update 02/01/2018

After escaping from the 8 separate periods of gale that December delivered to the Sussex coast, it appears we will not be so lucky tomorrow, with what has now been named Storm Eleanor.  Forecasts for when the biggest waves and storm surges appear are changing daily, but currently the worst periods look to be tomorrow at 11:40 and the following tide at 00:10 on Thursday

Bulldozers have been working at Normans Bay East since New Year’s Eve and will work at Beachlands today, with a third machine starting at 'White Horses' tomorrow.  A recycling team is also being assembled to start at 07:30 tomorrow.

Initially we had expected to start another week of bypassing shingle round the harbour from Langney on Monday 8th January.  However, now machines are established to the east of the harbour I expect we will be delaying that work until beaches are repaired following tomorrow’s storms.

Incidentally, the worst period of storms in the last 18 years started in exactly the same way over New Year 2014.  Hopefully 2018 not provide a repeat.


Kind regards


Ian Thomas
Project Manager
Pevensey Coastal Defence Ltd
Environment Agency Depot
Coast Road
Pevensey Bay
East Sussex  BN24 6ND

Tel: 01323 761202
Fax: 01323 764368
Mob: 07884 234298

Updated: Sunday, December 16, 2018 20:15