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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/medmerry-coastal-flood-defence-scheme/medmerry-coastal-flood-defence-scheme
The Environment Agency has built major new sea defences between Selsey and Bracklesham in West Sussex. They have developed the Medmerry managed realignment scheme with the help of a wide range of community representatives.
The scheme will greatly improve the standard of flood protection for over 300 homes, the water treatment works and the main road into Selsey. It will also create important new intertidal wildlife habitat and open up new footpaths, cycleways and bridleways.
Work started in September 2011, and on Monday 4 November, 2013, on one of the highest tides of the year along the south coast, Environment Agency Chairman, Lord Chris Smith, unveiled a plaque to celebrate the completion of the Medmerry flood defence.
Managed realignment means building new defences inland from the coast and allowing a new ‘intertidal’ area to form seaward of the new defences. ‘Intertidal’ means the land that is exposed at low tide and covered by the sea at high tide.
Latest update: March 2014
Footpaths, cycleways and bridleways
Work is ongoing to finish the 10 kilometres of new footpaths, cycleways and bridleways that cross the site. There is still more to be done to complete the project fully and the timing of the work depends on the weather. Public access will be allowed again as soon as possible.
This winter, the south coast suffered some of the worst weather for 20 years with a sustained period of very high tides, strong winds and stormy seas. The new flood defences have held firm and are working as planned. The shingle beach, which used to be the flood defence, has rolled backwards and has been flattened by the sea. It is important to understand that this was expected and is not a problem.
Car parks remain closed at present until height restriction barriers are in place.
Large numbers of birds are already using Medmerry, including wild ducks such as several hundred Teal and Wigeon and there are large roosting flocks of Lapwings. A Harbour Seal has been seen investigating the breach. It will take time for the habitats to develop, but the early signs are very encouraging indeed. Find out more about wildlife at Medmerry.
You can see photos of the Medmerry scheme on Flickr.
There is also a video about Medmerry on YouTube:
The Environment Agency has involved local residents throughout the development of the Medmerry scheme. They worked with local residents and interest groups to establish the Medmerry Stakeholder Advisory Group (MStAG) in 2009.
MStAG member list, August 2012:
- Bracklesham and East Wittering Parish Council - Rod Tranchant
- Countryside access forum for West Sussex - Peter Brown
- Earnley Parish Council - Colin Field and deputy Keith Martin
- Earnley residents group - Michael Frith
- Ham residents group - Dee Caldwell, with deputy Sue Shackleton
- Manhood Cycle network - Peter Luck
- Manhood Peninsula Steering Group - Ben Cooper
- Manhood Wildlife Group - Jill Sutcliffe, with deputy Bill Martin (was Joe Savill)
- Medmerry residents group - Ken Codd
- RSPB - Jim Glover
- Selsey Town Council - Carol Purnell
- Sussex Beach Holiday village - Allan Chamberlain
- West Beach Selsey residents association - John Napper
- Wildfowlers - Ray Cuthbert
- Fisheries - Tony Delahunty
- Leisure and recreation - Les Greenwood (was David Hawkins)
- Manhood Peninsula Partnership - Jane Cunningham (was Julie Whitney)
- Agriculture farmers/growers, now representing Natures Way - Mark Hooper
- Sidlesham Parish Council - Diana Pound (was Colin Field)
- Selsey Coastal Trust - Roland O’Brien
- Birdham Parish Council - Carolyn Cobbold
- Save our Selsey – vacant
- Chichester District Council - Matthew China
For more information on MStAG, and for past meeting notes please contact the Public Liaison Officer on 07917 048912.
If you need to speak to anyone about the scheme during construction, contact the Public Liaison Officer on 07917 048912.