ACCESS: Adapting to Coastal Change along England’s Southern Shorelines

Channel Coast Observatory: £26,000. Halcrow: £20,500. Coastal and Geotechnical Services: £14,000
Management/Printing: £5,725. Contingencies: £3,000

The ACCESS project (2011) investigated methods associated with effectively quantifying ‘Assets at risk along the SCOPAC coastline’.

To request a hard copy of the Report please email

Background to the project

There is a need for more refined assessments to be made of the methodologies currently applied in Shoreline Management Plans and Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategies to ascertain coastal erosion risk and identify and value the assets at risk, looking ahead over the next one hundred years.

The greater the erosion risk to property, the more likely the frontage will obtain the benefit-cost ratio required to achieve a Hold The Line policy, thereby potentially attracting funding for future works. Still, if methods are under- or indeed over-predicting erosion then there could be significant implications for future policy setting and central government funding distribution.

Coastal and Geotechnical Services, Halcrow and the Channel Coastal Observatory (CCO) undertook the work for this project.

As an introduction to the project, the CCO used a coarse method to identify “hotspots” across the SCOPAC region where more than 40 properties are at risk from erosion and/or flooding within Shoreline Management Plan “Management Unit” boundaries over the next 100 years – see Figure 1 below

With a focus on sites under threat from instability, erosion and erosion followed by flooding, case studies for each geomorphology type were selected from the list of hotspots, ensuring a variety of examples were taken from across the SCOPAC region. These include the following case studies identified in Figure 2 below

Each case study details historical and predicted future geomorphological evolution, coastal monitoring, coastal management, adaptation of the shoreline and lessons learnt. A critique of Shoreline Management Plan erosion methods and national methods of erosion prediction was also undertaken for a selection of sites, as was the data used for assessing assets at risk and the monetary values applied to the assets at risk.

The ACCESS Project Report was launched on 18th November 2011 to an audience of engineers, coastal scientists, planners, consultants and councillors at the National Oceanographic Centre – with presentations from those involved.

The following summarises the agenda and talks from the day. Cllr Roger Elkins (Chairman of SCOPAC) opened and closed the day’s proceedings.

Session 1: Hazard & adaptation across the SCOPAC coastline

Introduction, who's been involved in the project, rationale of the project, what is adaptation?

PDF (1Mb) / Professor Robin McInnes, Coastal and Geotechnical Services

Introduction to "hotspots" and case studies

PDF (4Mb) / Sam Cope, Channel Coast Observatory

Case Studies

PDF (4Mb) / Professor Roger Moore, Halcrow
Barrier beaches, spits and fringing barriers at risk of breaching and erosion (Chesil beach, Hurst Spit, Worthing, Eastoke); lowland at risk of erosion and flooding (Poole Harbour); salmarshes at risk of erosion (Langstone Harbour and Lymington); sand dunes (Studland) at risk of erosion

Session 2: Predicting erosion and valuing assets at risk

Introduction to NCERM

PDF (1Mb) / Professor Roger Moore, Halcrow

NCERM '09 and SMP2 outputs

PDF (6Mb) / Sam Cope, Channel Coast Observatory
Comparison of methods for predicting erosion at national and regional level; determining properties at risk at SMP2 and Strategy level; valuing properties at risk at SMP2 and Strategy level

NCERM Outputs

PDF (1Mb) / Professor Roger Moore, Halcrow

Conclusions and Recommendations, the way ahead

PDF (4Mb) / Professor Andy Bradbury, Channel Coast Observatory