Few, if any, national coastlines exhibit such a range and variety of biophysical forms and processes as the UK. This has provided, particularly over the past millennium, innumerable opportunities for the exploitation and development of resources, as well as locational advantages. Few of these, prior to the mid-twentieth century, were determined by deliberate planning or constrained by regulations enacted in the public interest. One consequence has been substantial investment in economic activity, property and infrastructure at and adjacent to coastlines whose capacity for dynamic change were either initially unrecognized or subsequently underestimated. In a few examples, storms and other natural high-magnitude events have resulted in substantial losses of life and livelihood, but at most locations the response has been to build more or less robust forms of defence and protection structures to modify forcing factors. There is abundant archival and documentary, but surprisingly little physical, evidence for the early construction of seawalls, dykes and embankments from the eighth century onwards. Some of these were undertaken as part of progressive schemes of land claim in interand supra-tidal wetlands, the results of which remain part of many modern coastal landscapes.
|Title of host publication||Managing Britain's marine and coastal environment: towards a sustainable future|
|Editors||H. Smith, Jonathan Potts|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon|
|Number of pages||33|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|Name||Routledge advances in maritime research|