Easton Broad: Work will soon start to help protect coastline from sea

Easton Broad

Easton Broad - Credit: Archant

Work will soon be under way to help safeguard a stretch of coastline from the ravages of the North Sea.

The Environment Agency (EA) is set to start building an earth embankment to improve flood protection at Easton Broad, a nationally and internationally designated nature conservation area near Southwold.

The work, which will be carried out in stages over several years, will see a 400 metre long, 2.5metre high bank built across the existing reed-bed.

This will act as a barrier that will reduce the risk of tidal flooding to the B1127 between Reydon and Wrentham and protect the freshwater reed-beds upstream of the road during high tidal surges.

The EA’s Mark Johnson said: “Later this month we will build a trial part of the embankment across the reed-bed to the south of the river.

“Depending on the weather, the formation layer to this first section should be completed in November.

“Following this work, we will be monitoring this foundation to the embankment and continue with construction to complete the embankment over the next few years.

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“We are taking a phased approach to allow time for the soft ground to adjust to the new embankment and to minimise any effect on the wildlife in this highly valuable conservation site.”

While the work is being done between late August and November, the speed limit on the B1127 near the site will be restricted to 40mph. The project will specifically benefit the larger part of the habitat upstream of Potters Bridge and help keep it in a good condition for up to 50 years.

Planning permission for the scheme was granted in December 2012, and work to build a compound to the south of the reed-bed was completed earlier this year.

The proposed delivery route for materials on the first phase of works is from the north of the site, along the A12, and the B1127 (Southwold Road) to Potters Bridge.

The full changes to the embankment are expected to be completed by 2019.

The work will be timed to avoid the bird breeding season to minimise any effect to the habitats and species.