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Future options for Cuckmere Haven

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Introduction

Future options for Cuckmere Haven In order to determine the future of Cuckmere haven, four flood management schemes have been created for the estuary. One of these options is to completely allow nature to take its course and do nothing. This is a good option for minimal interference to the surrounding wildlife and less costly as other options, however, the unmanaged re-alignment will increase the risk of flooding: the defences will be allowed to deteriorate, which will be sped up by sea levels rising, high tides and storms, which will batter the defences. Not only will the risk of flooding increase, but also leaving the river to take its own path will mean the footpath and beach will be off limits as it will be very dangerous. Another possible option is to maintain the existing flood defences. Although preserving the current defences seems like a good option for keeping the estuary visitor friendly, the amount of protection that the current flood banks provide at their current height will not sustain the ...read more.

Middle

The long-term aims of the project are to: * Re-connect the flow of the Cuckmere river through the meanders * Re-create inter-tidal habitats like mudflats and salt marsh on the floodplain * Increase the flow of water through the mouth of the river; and by doing so create a self-cleaning river mouth * Remove the training walls/embankment walls from the mouth of the river * Fill in the straight cut that isolates the cut off meanders from the river. The project was originally intended to start in 2003, but due to local objection, the start date of the scheme was delayed and the entire project is set to be completed by 2030. The project is made up of two phases. In the first phase, the environment agency intends to breach the defences in the west. By doing so, more natural processes will resume; inter-tidal habitats will develop which could attract redshanks, ruffs and oystercatchers due to the change in wildlife. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, some of the second phases' consequences won't be as beneficial; it will result in a loss of existing access to the beach to the east of the river once the river reverts to it's original course next to the seven sisters, and although the scheme will assist salt marsh and mudflat habitats to develop and cultivate, there will be the removal of habitats for many creatures currently situated on the valley such as badgers and other woodland varieties. Moreover, the scheme will not only affect animals, but property, agricultural land and infrastructure will also be lost. The restoration projects plan will lead to the collapse of the sea wall, which protects the coastal cottages, endangering their future. Flood risk could be increased for villages such as Alfriston and Littlington, and even the main A259 road would be at greater risk, and also there will be years of mud before the salt marsh actually develops, leaving a vast area of unattractive mudflats. ...read more.

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