The coastline on both sides of the Channel has always been an attractive place for people to live. Coastal communities have grown up as people have used estuaries and the sea for transport, trade, fishing, agriculture and recreation. The coastline of South West of England and Normandy provides internationally important habitat, which is protected for wildlife. Locations like Poole Harbour, and the Baie des Veys in Normandy, for example, provide a haven for many different species of birds.
The coast is also constantly changing. Sea levels change, cliffs fall down and material eroded by wind, waves and the tide is carried from one location to another in complex patterns. The ever changing nature of the coast combined with the needs of the people and wildlife that have made it their home present a challenge. How can we manage the risks of coastal change to people, property and the environment while planning for a changing climate which is expected to bring rising sea levels and stormier weather?
Coastal change affects communities around the UK, not just in South West England. For an interesting take on how coastal change is affecting communites elsewhere visit http://chrisblunkell.blogspot.co.uk/