Friday, 10 April 2009

Flooding the Wantsum Thanet’s most important issue.

I have just read the article on the council’s response to global warming on the Thanet Gazette and Times website it pretty much sums up much of governments attitude worldwide.

On the one hand the council is making a few minor concessions, turning off a few lights and not leaving the heat on in their offices when no one is using them etc. on the other hand promoting airport expansion, out of town leisure and shopping, long distance imports etc all cranking up the carbon footprint.

Although opinions differ about the result there is obviously a considerable risk here that we are in for a major catastrophe.

The Isle of Thanet is a manmade island click on the link for some historical background as the wind and waves come from a predominately north-westerly direction it is the costal defences north of where the Wantsum (the channel that originally separated Thanet from the mainland) was, that are most critical.

The last time the sea defences here failed was in the 1953 storm, when so much of the railway was washed away that it had to close for five months, this occurred without global warming and the resultant rise in sea levels.

If you enlarge the map above by clicking on it you will see the shaded areas that show where the Wantsum was, all of this low lying land is at considerable risk from the sea even a relatively small rise in sea levels increases that risk.

The South east Costal Group have now published their management plans for the north Wantsum sea defence and frankly they don’t look very sensible, there is also an inconsistency in them that suggests there was some disagreement among members of the group click on the link to look at them as you can see the proposed managed realignment means we wind up with a much longer sea defence, it also means that the action of the sea trapped in this new inlet is likely to be considerably worse than it would be along straight coastline.

If arranging the sea defences in this peculiar way was a good idea they wouldn’t have wasted all the time and money filling in the land between the railway and the sea defences in 1953.


  1. Bring it on! We could offer free single tickets for the ferry out of the island for the pit bull tuggers, hairy-arsed councillors, and pointless overpaid council bureaucrats, and charge £100,000 a ticket return. Job done!


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