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Coastal erosion

Coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land along the coast. There are a number of processes that cause and exacerbate coastal erosion, including erosion from waves and storms, rising sea levels and human factors.

Coastal erosion risk management is devolved, and policy for England is set through the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy.

Coastal erosion impacts large parts of the country, with over 28% of the coastline of England and Wales experiencing erosion greater than 10cm per year.

2023 research from One Home, a non-profit social enterprise focused on consumer awareness for climate change, estimates that 2,200 properties in England, worth around £584 million, are located in the 21 highest erosion risk coastal communities.

Erosion rates are expected to increase with rising sea levels, placing more lives, livelihoods and properties at risk.

Coastal erosion in Suffolk and Norfolk

Suffolk and Norfolk are counties on the eastern coast of England experiencing high rates of coastal erosion. The Environment Agency state:

“Norfolk and Suffolk have some of the fastest eroding coasts in Europe, with over 2.500 homes at direct coastal risk and thousands more properties and businesses directly and indirectly affected by loss of property, infrastructure and utilities.”

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