Furzy Cliff - Management

Background information

This section of Weymouth Bay is made up of clay cliffs.  These are easy to erode both from the sea and by sub-aerial processes. Consequently the cliff has been receding at a rate of approximately one metre/year.  Due to the area above the western end of the cliff being developed various hard and soft engineering schemes were put in place (a concrete recurved sea-wall, paving of the cliff-face, drainage, re-seeding the cliff with vegetation, regrading the cliff to a 35 degree angle, beach nourishment).   The sea wall cost 400,000 in 1984 and the cost of the whole scheme was approximately 3 million.  At the moment it is clear the benefits outweighed the costs in this section as various commercial (e.g. pub) and residential properties were saved.  The management scheme at Furzy Cliff has proved so successful that new luxury accommodation has been constructed within 10 metres of the beach.

 

The top of the eastern end of the cliff is parkland and so the costs of continuing the scheme would have outweighed the benefits so a 'do nothing' strategy was implemented. This could lead to problems with the cliff eroding back behind the sea wall.