Undercliff walk

Last week Steve and I met up to walk along the concrete path at the foot of the cliffs east of Brighton.  After so many days of wet weather the idea of concrete seemed better than footpaths on the Downs.  Plus it would be low tide, so plenty of stuff to see and talk about.

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The foreshore immediately east of the marina shows a weed covered wave cut platform, with hardly any flint shingle at all.  We decided that this is because of the marina, built in the 70s, it stopped the eastward drift of shingle which would have maintained the beach.  There is evidence that a shingle beach once existed – small pieces of groynes still stand – like the bit centre left of the above photograph.

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A real bonus was the warmth!  The sun shone some of the time and it was not windy.   mile or so further east and the protective effect of the marina is lost and shingle is once again available.  perhaps it does move past the marine, but the immediate eastern coast is in a sort of shingle-shadow zone.  Like a rain-shadow zone in physical geography.

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Even when it got cloudy the sun came through in places.  Here it marks the distant sea horizon with a thin bright line of light.

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The undercliff walk is part of the protection to reduce cliff erosion, so there is very little material added to the beach from local erosion.  Here you can see the chalk showing through, right below the undercliff walk, carved into glorious undulating and convoluted curves by the sea and battering of pebbles.  Such pleasing patterns and colours – I feel a painting coming on!

It was good to get out for a walk, talk and some inspiration.

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