The Changing Coastline
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Our coastline is constantly changing through erosion, land-use and climate change.
These changes affect our coastal heritage, damaging or destroying known archaeological sites, and exposing new ones through erosion.


The relentless action of the sea is constantly altering the coastal strip; revealing, covering up and, sometimes, destroying our coastal heritage.

…a changing climate
Climate change means that sea-levels will continue to rise, and extreme storm events are more likely. In many areas erosion will happen more quickly, resulting in changes – sometimes dramatic changes – to our coastline.

...a changing tradition
The ways in which we use the coast have changed dramatically. Some traditional industries, like fishing and boat-building, have declined. But more and more people are out and about on the coast, and the leisure industry has boomed.

Coastal change and erosion can reveal hidden archaeological sites. For example, after a winter storm scours the sand off the beaches, shipwrecks, long hidden, can be exposed. Buried structures can be revealed when they begin to erode out of cliff-edges. Although the additional information is welcome, these sites too are under threat from the changing coast.
Our heritage is irreplaceable. Once gone, it can never be put back.