Wednesday, 23 January 2008

my thoughts on the national trusts report named shifting shores

The national trust report named shifting shores proposes an “adapt to change” outlook for the prevention of coastal erosion around the United Kingdom. The report refers to the UK climate change impacts programme (ukcip) which predicts that sea levels around the UK will rise by between 26 to 86 centimetres by 2080 because of this, coastal risk assessments carried out by the trust has indicated that over the next century 608km of national trust coastline could lose land by erosion and that 10% of this loss could be between 100-200m inland, to combat this change, the report states that the trust can do one of two options, the first is to prevent change by a traditional “hold the line” approach which is expensive, difficult to maintain and will often only provide a temporary solution, because of this the trust concludes that hard defences should only be used as a last resort and instead an “adapt to change” policy should be instigated, this is because this is the most cost effective approach over the long term and provides the public with a better understanding of the risks they face and gives them chance to adapt to their coastline, although this approach does not seem to fight coastal erosion head on, the protection of natural features such as salt marshes and sand dunes cannot only provide essential habitats for wildlife, but they also act as important natural defences. The trust therefore puts forward the conservational management strategy of working with nature and not against it, this more sustainable approach may mean removing hard defences and letting the coast realign itself and allowing for natural defences to form. to see the national trusts environmental principles click here