Sea Defense 2012

Update 20th December 2012

As you may have guessed (or seen) we have been a little busy since last Friday, so apologies for not providing information on our activities for the last few days.  Although we have been unable to return the beach to its pre-storm condition, it is our intention to stop regular maintenance works this afternoon so there should be a degree of peace and quiet over the Christmas holidays.  Of course if conditions deteriorate significantly we will restart as soon as is necessary.  Hopefully with only low spring tides to come at the end of the month there won’t be a problem.  That being the case I anticipate machines will restart on Monday 7 January.

In the meantime I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy (and dry) New Year

With best wishes for 2013

Update 13th December 2012

Just when we thought we had slipped into a period of cold weather and hence reduced sea defence activity, everything changes on a spring tide.  Gales are expected for tomorrow’s 11:20 high water, with the possibility that they will continue through the weekend.

The most interesting tide is the one tomorrow when waves are predicted to come from the south east, before veering south west later in the day.  Wave heights are not especially high at between 2 and 2.5m so no flooding is expected.  I do expect there to be erosion to the front of beach crest, so will have three bulldozers working from tomorrow afternoon.  Initially they will be deployed to Normans Bay East, Beachlands and Sovereign Harbour/'White Horses' but will be available to move to wherever they are subsequently needed.

Update 16th November 2012

With tides having now peaked and the weather remaining calm, recycling will finish today.  On the other hand the weather doesn’t look so good from Monday onwards….

However whilst machines are here they are being moved to Langney so that next week we will bypass shingle round Sovereign Harbour and place it on the north harbour beach.  This work will last only from Monday to Friday.

Update 12th November 2012

As the days have gone by the forecast for this week has gradually improved.  There is now no sign of any wave activity in the next five days, so hopefully these last tides will be trouble free.  Machines will be at Beachlands today and then Normans Bay East, before moving down towards Cooden.  I expect the trucks to leave by the end of the week.

Update 18th October 2012

High water at 12:50 yesterday represented the worst of conditions for this series of spring tides, with both water levels and wind speed now falling away.  What was already a high tide yesterday had almost 0.3m surge on top, making it one of the three highest water levels I have seen at Pevensey in the last 12 years.  We were fortunate that waves were no higher than 2m.

The result is that there has been erosion throughout the 9km frontage, so much so that in several places it is not possible to move machines along the beach.  There is a lot of shingle lower down the beach, which will start to return naturally if conditions remain as they are now. 

For now we are proposing to widen the crest and reinstate lost access using the bulldozer.  Assuming the 7.2m tides at the end of this month are ok we will continue through until the second week in November.  With further 8.0mCD tides on November 15 it is probable that the recycling team will return during early November to ensure that all areas are fully restored prior to the next set of high spring tides.  All eroded crest will be repaired, but with many areas requiring attention it may be several days before we can visit each one.

Update 11th October 2012

Two days ago the forecast for the middle of next week was for winds to be from the NW.  That has now changed and there are likely to be some brief but nevertheless interesting winds from S to SW.  With an 8mCD tide on Wednesday it is likely that we will see some significant beach movement.

Of course there is still time for the forecast to change again – and it is too early for there to be any detailed wave or storm surge information – but we have taken the decision to keep the recycling team on site into next week rather than let them go.  Therefore in the first few days of next week they could be operating anywhere along the frontage.

Before that it seems as though sea conditions are deteriorating at Selsey, so Sospan Dau is expected back at Sovereign Harbour tomorrow morning for two or perhaps three tides.

We will continue to monitor conditions in the coming days and provide updates as things change.

Update 1st October 2012

More rough weather has meant that Sospan Dau is struggling to work at West Sands, Selsey.  However the shelter provided by Sovereign Harbour means she is able to operate at Pevensey.  Therefore a second visit from the dredger that started yesterday lunchtime is expected to last until Thursday.  Further visits will be required before the required delivery of shingle for Pevensey is complete for 2012.

Recycling also started today as expected, and should last through until the end of next week.

Update 10th September 2012

If you thought it had been quiet – so did I!

A delay in Sospan Dau’s work at Selsey means she suddenly has the opportunity to deliver a few loads of this year’s beach recharge to Sovereign Harbour – starting on the 07:50 high water tomorrow.  I had not expected her to put in an appearance until October….

It is likely that she will only be available until Friday, but will return later to deliver the usual amount of sea dredged aggregate we take at this time of year.

With the weather now as good as it has been at almost any time in the summer I am not expecting to start recycling until the end of September.  However the arrival of wet and windy conditions could soon change that.  As is usual for the time of year there is a small amount of work to be done at Cooden, Herbrand Walk, Normans Bay East and Beachlands to ensure everything is in good order before the start of winter.

Hopefully there will be enough time to suitably forewarn you all before it happens

Update 18th June 2012

Although work on Pevensey Outfalls is still continuing there is in general no longer any traffic moving along the beach between the Pevensey depot and Normans Bay.

There are two exceptions to this rule where PCDL has given permission for TVO to use the beach;

  1. Later this week a machine will level out the ruts left in the beach crest between Pevensey and Beachlands.  If possible it will be done after rain so that any dust nuisance is minimised and should take no more than an hour or two.
  2. Concrete and other debris generated during Outfalls work needs to be collected from where it has been washed by storm waves over the last 10 days.  A dumper will be used once a week to collect any non-natural materials that have washed along the shoreline, between the toe of the embankment and the high tide line.  Access will not be from the beach crest unless it is not possible to move along below of through the groynes.
If you have any comments on this work as it progresses please let me or Peter Amies (Environment Agency – 01903 832601) know.

Please be aware I will be away from the office from 16:00 tomorrow 19 June until 08:00 on Monday 25 June

Update 8th May 2012

Although the weather is nothing remotely like summer, it has calmed down enough that the final bulldozer left the beach last Friday.  Hopefully we will not need to do any more machine work until the autumn.  As usual dredger Sospan Dau will appear to undertake this summer’s annual recharge.  We have no provisional date as yet, but I will let you know as and when it becomes clear.

Hopefully some sun and warmth is not too far away and that we all get to enjoy a long and pleasant summer

Update 26th April 2012

Almost two weeks ago I made the mistake of saying that we hoped to finish our work for the winter by Friday 20th.  That obviously didn’t happen and it now looks as if we will need to continue for a few days into May.  With the most recent gales being predominantly southerly, waves have succeeded in drawing shingle down the beach in many places.

I know expect trucks to continue until Monday or Tuesday, finishing up at 'White Horses' and Sovereign Harbour.  Before they can work there the bulldozer needs to repair narrow sections of beach crest, particularly at 'The Sandcastle' and Grey Towers.  He will hopefully complete this tomorrow and Saturday. As far as I can recall we have not had to continue recycling and reprofiling into May before, but I suppose that is because we are having March’s weather now rather than between February and April.

With any luck the bulldozer will finish tidying up by Friday 4 May, but with some 7.8m tides to come a day or two later who knows whether we will have to start all over again

Update 16th April 2012

As indicated last week, today sees the start of what we hope will be the final work for winter 20011-12.  After working at Sovereign Harbour and 'White Horses' today machines will  move to Beachlands tomorrow and will be concentrated there and at Normans Bay East for most of the week, latterly moving to Herbrand Walk and Cooden

A gale warning for the entire south coast has already been issued for early tomorrow, so plans may change, but I am still hopeful we can complete all necessary works this week

Update 10th April 2012

Before I forget, tomorrow is our annual public forum, this year being held in Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club’s second floor conference room between 14:00 and 18:00.  There is nothing particularly new being revealed, but it is useful to meet up with residents and see how our various works affect you.  There have been many instances where we have made subtle changes to a process that in the long run have befitted us as well as reducing inconvenience to residents.

The attached flyer provides full details of tomorrow’s event

Speaking of works, we will be starting a recycling operation next Monday.  I thought we had got away lightly from the last three big spring tides, and sure enough last night increased the amount of work we need to do before we can withdraw gracefully for the summer.  At least most schools will be back next week and the showers forecast for the remainder of the week should help reduce any dust nuisance.

Hopefully I will see some of you tomorrow, and in any case I will provide details of where recycling will start at the end of the week.

Update 5th April 2012

Easter is almost upon us and we still have about a week’s recycling to complete before we stop for the summer.  There is no plan to undertake this before the end of school holidays, so Monday 16th would be the earliest start date.  Hopefully it will have rained before then to help keep dust to a minimum.

In the meantime we will be hosting our annual public forum in Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club’s second floor suite on Wednesday 11th April between 14:00 and 18:00.  I have attached a pdf version of a poster showing which organisations will attend the event.  Please feel free to circulate it to anyone who may be interested in coming along.

Best wishes for a happy Easter!

Update 9th March 2012

The forecast remains favourable for the spring tides over the weekend, so machines currently working will finish tonight.  The bulldozer will continue on for the remainder of the month and I am hopeful that a further 5 days of recycling will be all that is required before we can consider that summer is on the way.  When those 5 days will be remains to be seen. The highest April spring tides is still a significant 7.9mCD but as that falls on Easter weekend it is a period we shall try to avoid.  It is therefore likely that we will wait until after school Easter holidays – unless of course the weather intervenes before then.

Update 5th March 2012

Work at Beachlands and Normans Bay East has finished for now, with machines moving east to Cooden and Herbrand Walk. Depending on progress this week they may finish off at Beachlands again on Friday as we lead into the highest March tides on Saturday/Sunday 10/11th. Currently the forecast for next weekend is favourable, with only light winds from Wednesday onwards. If this remains the case then trucks will stop on Friday.

There is a small amount of work to be done at Sovereign Harbour and I expect there will be a bit more to do at Beachlands and Normans Bay before we can decamp for the summer. Hopefully a final week’s work towards the end of the month will be all that is needed.

Update 16th January 2012

Recycling has finished for now, though doubtless there will be need for at least one more round before the end of winter. We are currently getting a 6m long steel pipe filled with concrete to help with levelling-out the beach and removal of tyre and track marks. This should help reduce the number of passes the bulldozer needs to make and therefore reduce vibration as well. Hopefully by the end of the week everything should be back to pre-storm conditions.


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: Saturday, October 4, 2014 8:59