Westward Ho!: Geomorphological Specialist Assessment (NECR317)

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Westward is an outstanding dynamic coastal system, unique as a rare and excellent example of a narrow cobble spit (see the Geological Conservation Review site account).Natural England requested that Coastal Marine Applied Research (CMAR) undertake an assessment of the contemporary geomorphological development of Westward Ho! A conceptual model of long-term behaviour associated with barrier-spit morphology was presented. Before the shorter-term storm-driven response of the barrier was considered in context of recent barrier change. Current management measures were then compared with the long-term intent for sustainable management of the coast (as presented in the Shoreline Management Plan). An analysis was undertaken in order to understand how the system is likely to evolve. This was based on an empirical equation relating to swash aligned gravel barrier shoreward movement to annual rise in mean sea level (Orford et al., 1995). A retreat of between 170 m and 270 m by 2120 (2.3 m/yr to 3.4 m/yr) is deemed likely dependent on different emission scenarios, linked to sea level rise. The Natural Capital benefits of the site were analysed, to better appreciate the elements of the natural environment which provide valuable goods and services to people. It was estimated that Westward Ho! has a “Welfare Value” and “Natural Environment Value” ranging between £400,000 and £1.4M.

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NECR317 - Edition 1 - Westward Ho!: Geomorphological Assessment, PDF, 4.8 MB 2020/07/08