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Aerial view of salt marsh at Cockerham Wildey Media
Landscape, Coast & Nature

Our Future Coast

Morecambe Bay Partnership are working with communities and stakeholders around the North West on Our Future Coast, a DEFRA funded project aiming to work with nature to safeguard coastal communities.

Our Future Coast

Our Future Coast is a multi-year project working across 14 coastal locations around the North West to promote nature-based solutions like saltmarsh and sand dune as buffers to protect coastal communities from flooding and erosion.

The project is part of the DEFRA funded Flood & Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme, which is funding 25 national projects to build resilience to climate challenges like flooding and erosion through practical innovations.

The Our Future Cost project is focussing on two key innovations, community engagement and nature-based solutions, sustainable and natural alternatives to traditional hard engineered defence structures.

Morecambe Bay Partnership are supporting the community engagement delivery across seven of the Our Future Coast locations around Morecambe Bay. We detail four of the seven sites below.

Hest Bank, Lancashire

The coastline at Hest Bank has witnessed extensive change over the past two decades. Much of the saltmarsh, which once protected the West Coast Main Line and local properties from flooding and erosion, has experienced substantial loss.

Working with Lancaster City Council, the local community and wider stakeholders, the Our Future Coast project is seeking to design and test new natural methods to restore this vital saltmarsh habitat and coastal buffer. Watch the video below to see more of our engagement work at Hest Bank.

Jenny Brown’s Point, Lancashire

Jenny Brown’s Point is a small coastal peninsula in the parish of Silverdale. The area is a National Landscape, valued for its environmental and heritage qualities. The chimney at Jenny Brown’s Point, a grade-two listed structure, is valued as a key part of this local identity. However, the saltmarsh, which once protected the structure, has experienced substantial erosion, leaving the chimney vulnerable to damage and undercutting from waves and rising tides.

The Our Future Coast project is working to trial low-cost, small-scale nature-based solutions to restore the marsh and provide natural protection for the chimney. Click this link to find out more:

Earnse Bay, Cumbria

Overlooking the Irish Sea, Earnse Bay on Walney Island is a well-loved recreation spot and home to a community of residential chalet owners on West Shore Park. The coastline is fast eroding, with defence measures put in place to protect the community from this erosion and flood risk. Longer term, the area is faced with an increasing risk of flooding and erosion from climate change.

The Our Future Coast project, working with Westmorland & Furness Council and various partners, is collaborating with the community and park owners to explore various options, including nature-based solutions, to adapt to these climate challenges over the coming decades.

Millom Marshes, Cumbria

Millom Marshes is an expansive area of saltmarsh on the Duddon Estuary. The marsh, an internationally important place for wildlife and for the local agricultural economy, is backed by an earth embankment. The local Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), which sets out a 100-year strategic approach for managing the coastline, calls for a future realignment of the coast and embankment. However, the anticipated high cost of such a strategy makes achieving it unlikely. Cumberland Council and local stakeholders are working collaboratively to better understand future flood risks and explore opportunities for nature-based solutions to manage coastal change sustainably.

Millom Marshes photo credit: The North West Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme

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