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Wash East Coastal Management Strategy

Find out more about the Wash East Coastal Management Strategy

What is the Wash East Coastal Management Strategy?

The Wash East Coastal Management Strategy (WECMS) was published in 2015 for the east coast of The Wash between Wolferton Creek and the Hunstanton Cliffs. The strategy was prepared in partnership between the Environment Agency and the Borough Council, alongside stakeholder consultation.

Development of the Strategy was recommended by The Wash Shoreline Management Plan 4 (2010) to implement its management recommendations.

To do this the Strategy split the east coast of The Wash into three areas:

  • Unit A – Hunstanton Cliffs (managed by the Borough Council)
  • Unit B – Hunstanton Town (managed by the Borough Council)
  • Unit C – South Hunstanton to Wolferton Creek (managed by the Environment Agency)

For each of these areas, the Strategy identifies the most suitable flood and coastal erosion risk management approaches which also seek to protect the natural and historic environment of the area.

WECMS documents

To find out more, you can view the WECMS documents below:

WECMS stakeholder forum

A stakeholder forum was established to help with the development of the Strategy and various local groups are invited to this forum. The stakeholder forum continues to meet at least two times a year to discuss works ongoing between Wolferton Creek and the Hunstanton Cliffs.

You can view the agendas, minutes and presentations from the stakeholder forum meetings here.

WECMS funding group

A funding group has been established to raise funds to maintain the shingle ridge sea defence between Snettisham and Heacham.

Members of the funding group are:

  • Anglian Water
  • Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
  • East Wash Coastal Management Community Interest Company (also known as the CIC)
  • Environment Agency

The funding group is now in year-7 of its 15-year programme of works for annual beach recycling. The partnership continues to work well to raise funds to complete the works.

Meeting minutes and agendas of the funding group can be viewed here.

Why was the funding group established and how much has it raised?

Prior to 2015 annual beach recycling was fully funded by central government grant in aid (GiA). A change in criteria now means only 41% of funding is provided by GiA, meaning to continue annual works the remaining 59% needs to be raised by the Funding Group. The Environment Agency has produced a briefing note which explains this in more detail.

In response, local landowners, businesses and commercial properties came together to establish the East Wash Coastal Management Community Interest Company (also known as the CIC) to collect funds from local landowners and commercial premises for the purpose of maintaining the shingle ridge. The EWCMCIC document provides background to the company.

Each year the CIC contributes funds to the annual beach recycling. In addition to this, the CIC now holds a significant surplus balance of approximately £1.2 million which could be used to contribute towards future works. Between 2015-2020, Anglian Water contributed £100,000 towards annual beach recycling and will contribute a further £100,000 over the next 5-years. The Borough Council also makes an annual contribution towards annual beach recycling.

What is beach recycling?

The sea defences between Snettisham and Heacham coastline are made up of a shingle ridge and stretches of concrete defences. Wave action removes shingle from the ridge, reducing its height and the level of protection provided. To maintain the standard of protection provided by the shingle ridge, each year the Environment Agency leads work to re-profile the shingle ridge with material from further down the coastline at Snettisham Scalp. This process is called beach recycling.

Cost of annual beach recycling varies from year to year depending on the amount of material which needs to be moved to re-profile the shingle ridge. In general, approximately £150,000 is needed to complete the annual beach recycling.

Make a voluntary contribution

Voluntary contributions are being asked from individual owners, occupiers and local businesses. These contributions will help to make sure properties can continue to be protected.

The Funding Group suggests a yearly payment amount of:

  • £15 for a beach hut
  • £50 for a caravan or chalet
  • £100 for a small business

You can make your voluntary contribution online.

To contribute to local sea defences funding you'll need:

  • a valid debit or credit card

Make a contribution

You can also pay by cheque. Post your cheque to:

King’s Court
Chapel Street
King’s Lynn
PE30 1EX

Made payable to ‘BCKLWN’ to us. Write on the back “local sea defence fund” with your name and address. We may use your name to acknowledge the funds being received (not the amount). Please indicate separately if you wish to opt out from this.

Local sea defences newsletters

Each year the Funding Group produces a newsletter to provide local residents and businesses on the annual beach recycling works.

You can view these newsletters here.