Sunday, 5 January 2014

Storm damage on the Cornish Coast

It's all becoming to regular now that Cornwall is on flood and storm watch, since Christmas Eve alone we've had thousands without power, places like Looe and St Ives flooded and If the rain and winds weren't causing enough damage we now have a period of massive swells from the ocean joining in with the havoc.

Over the last few days Cornwall's coastline has taken a severe battering. With damage ranging from simple clean up operations removing debris that has washed up into the streets to buildings and sea defences ripped apart and even roads the have been torn open by the sea. With all this damage visible in nearly every part of the coast people are still putting their lives at risk to watch the stormy seas.  I'm not saying don't go and watch nature at it's best but I'm saying stay safe! There was a recent report in the Mirror Newspaper where a family with young children risked there lives to get a glimpse of the ocean before mother nature sent a wave over them and giving them a soaking. They were incredibly lucky that they weren't swept off their feet and into the raging torrent below. By all means go and watch the stormy seas but stay at a safe distance, a very safe distance! If the sea is capable of destroying buildings a roads it will not hesitate to destroy a life!

Yesterday I went out when the tides was on it's way out for a walk on Fistral beach in Cornwall to see what damage the sea had done with my own eyes. I headed to see how the beach had faired, at first glimpse I was impressed, excited even to sea how strong the sea had been but then as I walked further along the beach and started to absorb what had happened I began to get quite upset. As a member of the ladies surf club throughout the summer months I would surf at this beach 2-3 times a week so know what the beach should look like. The damage to the Fistral blu beach bar was immense, cages of stones ripped open, foundations dragged out from under the building and the RNLI lifeguards hut gaining similar damage.

Storm damage on Fistral Beach

Fistral Blu Bar damage in Newquay

Fistral Blu Bar damage

Storm damage in Cornwall

Storm damage in Newquay January 2014


Sea damage in Cornwall Fistral beach Newquay

Fistral Blu Bar damaged by storms

RNLI Fistral beach damaged by sea

I then decided to walk the length of the beach back towards Pentire and was even more shocked to see what the sea that I love so much had done to this beautiful beach. The once majestic sand dunes at the back of the beach were now a lot smaller. At places it appeared that the sand dunes had been eaten back by around 10 foot. The images below show the stakes that were once the edges of the sand dunes and these were once deep in sand with only the tops visible. Now these stand alone in the sand metres from the new dunes. 
Sand dune damage at Fistral beach

Sand dune damage at Fistral beach. Newquay

Sand dune damage at Fistral beach. Newquay Cornwall

The once gradual sloping dunes that let you access the beach now have a sheer drop from the footpaths carved from the sea.
Sand Dune erosion Newquay

Beach Damage Fistral beach Newquay


Sand dune erosion Fistral Beach Newquay

Beach damage newquay

Storm damage Cornwall

As I continued up the beach the fence posts and pillars that were ripped out from one end of the beach were now found at the opposite end of the beach deposited everywhere. 

Storm damage on Cornwall's beaches

Debris washed up on Cornwall beaches

Debris washed up on Fistral beach

Debris washed up on Fistral beach, Newquay

Debris washed up on Fistral beach, Newquay Cornwall

It really is heartbreaking to see the beach in this state, you can see in the pictures that it's not just litter on the sand but all the way up the cliffs there's smaller debris coating the cliff with bottles and shoes littered everywhere. There's no way that we can stop the ocean from causing havoc and destruction but a lot of the litter on the beach was from human's. Shoes, bottles, beer cans, wine bottles the sea might have caused a lot of damage but litter left on the beach has made things worse.

As I went to leave the beach I was shocked further when the stairs that exited the beach were rapped in fishing and boat ropes.
Fistral Beach Newquay

Debris left after storms in Cornwall

Storm damage Cornwall

To see even more photos of the storm damage on Fistral beach pop over to my facebook page where there are over 100 photos from yesterdays storm damage.