A steep shelf has appeared on East Beach following Storm Ciara at the weekend.

High tides and strong waves have washed away shingle and sand from the beach at West Bay, creating the ledge.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency and Dorset Council are continually monitoring the behaviours of east and West Beach.

“We are very pleased with the performance of the new flood defences over the period of significant storm in the past few weeks. Before the defences at West Beach were in place we might have expected overtopping by waves on a couple of occasions.

“There is indeed fairly steep cliffing of the shingle on the seaward side of East Beach, but in the past the beach itself might have expected to recede and become more depleted under these storm conditions.

“So far, the buried rock core in East Beach has not been exposed. We expect that at some stage, perhaps after further significant storms, the rock core will become exposed. However, this is the ‘beauty’ of the design - an exposed rock core is even more resistant to wave action than when covered with shingle, hence the structure will continue to provide a high standard of defence against flood risk in these circumstances.

“Each winter season in the past we have needed to reshape East Beach, and occasionally import new shingle. We expect that some level of maintenance will continue to be required, but the time and cost requires will be significantly reduced.

“In the next few weeks, the EA operations team and our contractor will be re-visiting the beaches and agreeing on any post-storm works needing to be carried out, preferably before winter, weather permitting.

“Activities will include the removal both of the granite rock shard and also of a couple of extraneous/iron items that have surfaced at East Beach, not thought to be relics from the construction works.”


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