Coast: it’s closer than you think

We watched the latest programme in the new series of ‘Grand Designs’ this evening. It was about a couple who built a modernist house on the edge of a cliff. Kevin McCloud, the presenter, delighted in raising concerns about coastal erosion at every opportunity. Just about the only thing he didn’t do was start a book giving odds on how soon the gleaming white edifice would fall headlong into the sea. Given a stick of chalk and a blackboard, I could just imagine ‘Honest Kev’ offering a generous 2-1 on twenty years, especially when the vicious winter storms of 2013-14 rapidly demolished several feet of cliff face that, only days earlier, had been planted with erosion-busting plants by the home owners (Mr and Mrs Canute, if I remember right).

‘Do you worry that we might be affected by coastal erosion?’ I said. Shana thought it could be possible. The sea is only about thirty miles away from Waffle Towers, and we are often buffeted by sea breezes and North Sea gales. (Or maybe we’re a bit too weather-sensitive for our own good.)

‘We do live on a cliff though,’ I pointed out. ‘The Lincoln Cliff. It’s some sort of geological feature. You can look it up on one of those search motors after the programme.’

So Shana did. And here’s all you need to know about the Lincoln Cliff. According to Shana, who saw it on an old edition of ‘Time Team’ recently, the sea used to reach as far inland as Washingborough, which is a bit too close for comfort. I’ll root out a few old bits of wood from the shed tomorrow and start building us a little boat, just in case. You never know. That thirty-odd mile buffer zone could vanish faster than you expect.


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