Orford Ness sea surge damage to be repaired this year

Permission is being sought for a major project to repair one of Suffolk’s most precious and iconic landscapes following the devastation of the tidal surge.

Internationally-important marshes on the 10-mile shingle spit of Orford Ness were left three metres deep in sea water for several days after the surge in December 2013.

Water broke through in several places, causing severe damage to flood defences and destroying a sluice used to control water levels.

The National Trust has now applied to Suffolk Coastal council for consent to repair and re-build about 560m of flood defence embankment and replace the sluice in King’s Marshes.

Minor repairs are also needed to two short sections of embankment in Airfield Marsh, and next to a small sluice in King’s Marshes on the Site of Special Scientific Interest.

It is proposed to build the embankments from soil materials – including clay taken from other parts of Orford Ness – with grass cover, while Pig Pail Sluice will be reconstructed using reinforced concrete and steel sheet piles.

In a report to Suffolk Coastal council, the National Trust said the site preparation, construction and repair works would take 16 to 20 weeks and it was hoped to start in May with the aim to avoid any impact on breeding birds and other wildlife.