Coastwalk danger warning

WALKERS have today been warned of extreme danger on rights of way close to the sea after flooding washed away stretches of the famous Suffolk coast path.

WALKERS have today been warned of extreme danger on rights of way close to the sea after flooding washed away stretches of the famous Suffolk coast path.

Experts say several lengths of the 47-mile track have been damaged with some sections impassable, due to the floodwaters, and others could be potentially dangerous.

The surge tide earlier this month breached coastal defences at several places, with the area between Sizewell and Kessingland badly affected.

A mile-long section of the shingle and dune bank between Walberswick and Dunwich was washed away, causing extensive flooding to the freshwater marshes, and sea defences at Easton Broad and Minsmere were also damaged.

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Unit is urging walkers to treat the area of marshland between Dunwich and Walberswick with great care.

In particular, the popular beach walk between the two villages should not be attempted. Following the erosion of the shingle bank, the footpath is liable to rapid seawater flooding and, at such times, can become “extremely dangerous”.

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Flooding has eroded sand dunes and, in places, left deep trenches that have been scoured out by the sea. These can be surprisingly deep and, at certain times, hold water to a depth of over one metre.

Countryside officer Nick Marsh said: “The area between Dunwich and Walberswick has been particularly affected and visitors to these areas are asked to take great care - it is easy to under estimate the power of the sea.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation and work with our conservation partners, and with colleagues in Suffolk County Council's rights of way team.

“The situation can change from day to day, depending on the state of the tide. I recommend that walkers to look for notices in the countryside and check the Suffolk Coast and Heaths website for news of further developments.”

n. Have you been put in danger by the flooding? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org

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