Providing Coastal Protection for Borth, Wales
Ceredigion County Council
Flood and coastal risk management
The threat of flooding and erosion is affecting more and more of Britain’s coastline and communities as many coastal defences are in desperate need of repair or replacement. As sea levels rise, the risk to people and property will increase. Particularly vulnerable is the beautiful village of Borth. Built on a shingle ridge in Cardigan Bay, Wales, it is home to around 1,500 people, which increases by 7,000 regular visitors who return during holidays attracted by its beautiful surroundings.
As the village of Borth has developed on a mobile shingle bank, with many properties built on top of the beach, it is vulnerable to flooding and erosion, requiring the construction of coastal defences. Ordinary storms affect properties every winter with overtopping flooding through homes and on to the high street, and few can get insurance. Ceredigion County Council is responsible for these defences, and together with consultant Royal Haskoning has developed the innovative scheme currently under construction which delivers amenity as well as coast protection benefits.
The current 1970’s timber groynes and breastwork defences (also designed by Royal Haskoning) were reaching the end of their life and there was a pressing need for further protection on the 6km frontage. The village and region has a strong relationship with its coast and consequently there is an active and informed local community committed to be involved in the future operation and development of its seafront. In developing a Strategy for the frontage, consultation clearly signalled that any scheme would need not only to provide protection, but also to include amenity measures to ensure the long term economic sustainability of the town and region. Borth’s award-winning beach is popular for bucket and spade holidays, bathers, surfers and adventure enthusiasts, and a key measure identified by the community was the requirement to sustain or improve local surfing. Royal Haskoning investigated this provision, and concluded in their 2006 Strategy that the way forward was to improve the defences by a £29m phased scheme of beach nourishment and rock beach structures, which included a multi-function artificial reef configured to provide both coast protection and surfing amenity.
Read the full Borth Coastal Protection Scheme Case Study
Read the FAQ's for the Borth Coastal Protection Scheme.