20
Dec
13

humbling forces

I have been out taking a look around. There was certainly a movement of the coastline landscape during the storm surge we had a few weeks ago. I wanted to know where access points had changed and where we could still get on our tours. New pools have formed; others have been covered or swept away. Sometimes it takes a while to orientate with new features horizons in place and old ones gone forever.

We mustn’t be too alarmed at the changes. For example if we go back to the 1800’s they were harvesting fields to the north of the existing shingle bank at Cley. These have been under the sea for many years. The latest movement of the bank is just a normal re-sighting of the landscape that has and will occur from time to time. The freshwater invertebrates within Cley reserve will take time to recover. Flooding has happened before here and the freshwater environment has re-established its former state more than once. However, movement of the shingle bank southward will surely continue pushing the reserve into a narrower and narrower sliver of coastline between the sea and the coast road. The purchase of the additional land between Cley and Salthouse by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust is a still a good move although given what we have just experienced the siting (or design) of the new proposed hide to the east of east bank could perhaps be given more thought.

Salthouse

What remains of the former Car Park at Salthouse is pictured above. I met a young mother here with her children. She was quite upset and explained she was lamenting the loss of the car park and the burying of the sign under shingle where she and her family used to lean their scooters. After talking a while she understood what had happened was only natural. As she gazed at the new landscape she said something I thought was quite profound. She said that ‘We all live cosseted lives and that occasionally it is humbling to be reminded of the forces the natural world can summon’.

Further west along the coast a gable end from a beach hut presumably from Wells next the Sea managed to end up 5km to the east at Stiffkey. Much debris along the edge of the Saltmarsh here.

Stiffkey

Below a victim of the storm. The corpse of this Oystercatcher hung in the Sea Buckthorn bushes at the edge of the saltmarsh.

Oystercatcher

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