Dungeness’s strange beauty under threat from shingle plan

Dungeness beach, Kent. Photo source: ©© Squirmelia


One of Europe’s most beautiful seascapes is in danger of being destroyed by a botched attempt to shore up its beach defences. The idea is to “recycle” the shingle by piling it on to the eroding coastline on the Kent-East Sussex border and prop up the beach.

The Environment Agency says that flood defence strategies needed to be working with are those which manage risk, protecting and restoring and copying the natural regulating function of rivers, floodplains and coasts. Mudflats and salt marshes provide a natural “sponge” for rising sea levels rather than hard barriers like shingle, while lifting the shingle also allows more water into the land, raising the water table and, in effect, raising the flood risk.

Dungeness is of international importance, designated as a national nature reserve, a special protection area, a special area of conservation and a site of special scientific interest…

dungeness beach kent
Dungeness is the largest expanse of shingle beach in Europe. Photo source: ©© Squirmelia

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