Friday, 14 August 2015

Coastal Erosion - Part Two

Another place that thrived,
Has also not survived.
It was once the seat of Anglo-Saxon kings.
Dunwich was a port,
Where wool was sold and bought.
Now it's from the deep a sunken church bell rings.

When its river northwards wended,
It's raison d'etre ended:
As a major centre, Dunwich ceased to be.
Though its buildings still remained,
The defences weren't maintained,
And the town was at the mercy of the sea.

The North Sea's stomach's hollow;
Yet more land it seeks to swallow
To assuage what seems a never-ending thirst.
But schemes of reclamation
Can effect an alteration,
And the balance of the struggle is reversed.

When the Romans here were reigning,
In the Fens they started draining:
The area was sogginess and slosh.
Now there's solid fertile ground,
In the counties that surround
The square-mouthed shallow bay that's called The Wash.

What the sea seeks to purloin
Can be thwarted by the groyne,
A structure that projects out from the land.
It can act as an impediment,
By trapping drifting sediment.
Its height must be meticulously planned.

Revetments...tetrapods...
Aim at lengthening the odds
Of success, when tidal forces come a poaching.
"Hard" methods such as these,
(Plus the walls that block the seas),
Have all been tried to stop the waves encroaching.

But they can look quite unsightly,
So aren't undertaken lightly,
And by engineers aren't favoured as they were.
Sand dune augmentation
By the growth of vegetation,
And reshaping beaches: they're what some prefer.

Different methods man might juggle,
In this never-ending struggle:
Global warming has a lot to answer for.
With water levels rising
Clever measures need devising,
To repel the sea that's knocking at our door.


Ⓒ Maggie Ballinger 2015

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