Grant to protect future of Whitby coast

MORE than £70,000 has been made available to secure the continuation of a coastal monitoring project in the Whitby area.

The Environment Agency has approved a grant for 74,000 to enable Scarborough Council to repair broken monitoring equipment along the coastline.

The Scarborough Council Local Coastal Monitoring Programme, which costs 300,000 to run, was approved in June last year after the local authority secured 100% funding from the Environment Agency.

The programme is designed to monitor coastal defences along the authority's 68km coast line and provide warning of potentially damaging ground movements.

The latest monitoring report from January this year highlighted the fact that 15 pieces of monitoring equipment were damaged and in need of immediate repair at a cost of 74,000.

John Riby, head of Technical Services, said: "The monitoring programme has provided enough information and data to support the reinstatement of damaged monitoring equipment.

"Following the high quality data this project has produced, additional funding was sort and approved.

"Continued monitoring will identify current and potential risks associated with any ground movement at a number of sites, allowing a series of early warning signs and trigger levels to be developed."

The three-year monitoring programme is being carried out at Runswick Bay, Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay, Scalby Ness, Scarborough North Bay, Scarborough South Bay, Knipe Point, Filey and Filey Flat Cliffs.

Monthly monitoring activity include site walks, inclinometer/piezometer readings, recession point monitoring, rainfall data collection and crack monitoring.

The project is being carried out by outside agent Mouchel, which after each monitoring event provides the council with a report which compares the most recent data with historical data that has been recorded.

The report highlights any changes that have been discovered and makes recommendations for future monitoring.

The latest Mouchel produced report, dated January 2010, noted generally stable slopes at most areas.

However a 10mm cliff recession and a small landslip was recorded at Scalby Ness as well as slight movement in two of the four inclinometers at Runswick Bay, a "standard surface creep" of -7mm at Whitby West Cliff, and footpath cracks and increased water readings at Scarborough South Cliff. As a result, increased monitoring has been recommended for areas of concern, while monitoring at more stable areas will be reduced.