Coastal erosion is an on-going issue across the Island leaving many areas vulnerable and works to protect the coast have to be carefully considered with regard to environmental protection and the coastal management strategy. And with much of our coastline of such international importance that it has been protected as Sites of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI), works to protect it are vital.
Working in these sensitive and demanding areas requires a unique understanding of the potential impacts and a specialist skillset that few companies possess. Isle of Wight company Imphouse Ltd, with their wide experience in coastal engineering construction, are able to fulfil this role.
The crumbling foreshore at Bembridge
H.J. Bennett has worked with Imphouse Ltd, who are civil engineering and building contractors, on a number of projects over the years. Most recently this included the on-going protection of vulnerable frontages in the area of Paddock Drive and the exclusive Bembridge Coast Hotel from erosion by the sea.
Seaview Duver collecting the long shore drift gravel for relocation
Following further erosion of the shingle bank that protects the low cliff, Imphouse Ltd was awarded the contract to protect this stretch of coastline whilst being sensitive to its unique environment. Imphouse Ltd’s scheme achieved this by reusing what was already on site and making use of similar natural materials from further down the coast where too much shingle had been deposited by longshore drift, to bolster the much needed sea defences whilst also protecting and enhancing the overall coastline.
Pushing up the gravel to form a new barrier
Together, Imphouse and HJB used their expertise and previous experience of working on this site to develop a method of transferring the shingle with the minimum of disturbance. A new shingle bank over 300m long was formed as a soft defence to reduce cliff erosion. This project reflects not only the combined talents of Imphouse and H.J. Bennett but the care and commitment both companies have to the Island and its environment.
The creation of a new gravel sea defence