BBC Lying About Happisburgh Erosion

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By Paul Homewood

They’re lying. They know they’re lying. But they carry on lying anyway:


In a small village on the north Norfolk coast, some residents are wondering how long they’ve got left in their homes before they are lost to the sea.

During the last 20 years, 34 homes have crumbled into the water in Happisburgh because of coastal erosion. Nicola Bayless thinks her home could be the next. She says she is devastated that she might have just spent her last Christmas there.

Along with East Riding in Yorkshire, Happisburgh and other parts of the north Norfolk coast have the highest number of properties at risk from coastal erosion in England.

“I’m angry and I’m heartbroken,” Nicola says. “My children have grown up here, my husband died here and my parents lived here before they died.

“I’m so sad that things have come to this,” the 47-year-old nurse says.

When Nicola, who also works as fitness instructor, moved to Beach Road 18 years ago, her three-bedroom semi was in the middle of the street.

But punishing weather conditions linked to climate change have eroded so much of the village’s soft sandy rock that her house is now the last one before the cliff edge.

No where in the article is there any mention at all of the fact that the coast at Happisburgh has been eroding away rapidly for centuries. Instead the impression is deliberately given that “punishing weather conditions linked to climate change” are the cause.

As many will know, I have written extensively about Happisburgh for many years, every time these lies are propagated. I won’t bore you with all of the detail again, but you can read them here. A selection of historical facts tell the story:

  • In the Middle Ages, the village of Whimpwell stood between Happisburgh and the sea. By 1183 only one field remained, and now it is under the sea, not even visible at low tide.
  • Happisburgh has lost land to the sea throughout the centuries. The rate of erosion has been erratic – at times large areas have disappeared overnight, and at others the cliff has remained virtually the same for some years
  • A twelve-acre field at Happisburgh was drilled with wheat. A north-west gale raged all night, and by new morning the field had disappeared.
  • White’s Directory for this year reported that the sea had encroached 250 yards in the last 70 years at Happisburgh.

Many attempts have been made down the years to protect the coast. An entry under Happisburgh in White’s Directory states ‘it is calculated the Church will be engulphed in the ocean before the middle of the ensuing century. In the same year, William Hewitt, MRCS, a relative of the Revd. John and a Stalham surgeon, suggested that breakwaters should be constructed parallel with the cliffs.

The first sea defences were built at Happisbugh and were later extended. Steel, greenheart and jarrah wood were used in their construction. The rate of erosion decreased, any loss of land being due mainly to surface water causing falls of cliff.

During the last forty years portions of the revetment have been destroyed, and repairs have been carried out on numerous occasions, but have not succeeded in preventing the formation of a large bay to the south of Happisburgh. To attract grant aid for capital works, stringent Government criteria must be satisfied, which relies heavily on the value of land and property at risk, thus prejudicing the relatively low property value in Norfolk as opposed to for example the South Coast of England. The Government’s declared present policy is to maintain ‘ a sustainable coastline’

The photo below shows houses close to the cliff edge in 1955. They look to be no more than a couple of decades old, and most certainly would not have been built anywhere near the cliffs, good indication of the rapid erosion prior to 1955.

So what are these punishing weather conditions linked to climate change?

Sea levels have been rising since the 19thC, and if anything the rate of rise has slowed on the East Anglian coast. About 1mm a year of the rise is due to the land sinking.

As for storms, the Met Office admits that storm frequency and strength has been declining since the 1990s, in line with global warming theory:

BBC lies are bad enough. But what really is most disgusting is the way they use personal tragedy to promote their climate scares.