The weather might be improving and the visitors returning but we are still dealing with a range of winter storm damage across North Devon. The start of the year brought high tides and severe winter storms seriously affecting beach access.
A significant landslip, with the loss of the steps to Rockham Beach at Mortehoe led to a lengthy closure. The steps were very dangerous and the cliffs surrounding Rockham beach were very unstable and whilst surveying the damage to the steps, Head ranger Jonathan witnessed a huge rock fall from the cliffs onto the beach. The most recent damage follows last year’s storms, after which we did a fantastic repair unfortunately all this hard work has been to no avail. Access to Rockham Beach is still closed and will be for the foreseeable future.
Grunta Beach on Morte Point, did not fair so well, unfortunately our new steps have been badly eroded, the post and rail fence has been hit by a cliff fall and worst of all the path leading to the steps has been undercut leading to a cliff fall taking a section of path with it. Because of this we had to close Grunta Beach, but are glad to announce it should be open soon.
Combesgate Beach at Woolacombe, suffered a large landslip which buried the lower half of the steps making access impossible. The steps had to be closed due to safety reasons, but thankfully due to the hard work of our rangers and volunteers Combesgate beach is now open again.
Wild Pear Beach at Combe Martin and Sillery Beach near Countisbury were also affected after the recent stormy spells. Wild Pear can be accessed but with difficulty. Sillery Beach access remains closed. We also suffered extensive damage to the sea wall at Croyde, which took full force of the waves and had the top stones smashed off. The Winch wall at Bucks Mills along with several coastal cliff collapses affecting the South West Coast path and up to 10 metres of sand dune face gone from Woolacombe Beach, although this will return in time.