A comparison of the different coastal management strategies of Minehead and Porlock in Somerset. In Minehead, millions of pounds have been spent on rock armour and sea walls. This is to protect the tourist resort of Butlins, which is important to the local economy. Porlock, owned by the National Trust, is managed very differently. A shingle beach protects the settlement, but recent winter gales have overwhelmed this ridge and the land has flooded. The National Trust has adopted a policy of managed retreat. Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown Copyright.

Can be used during a module on coasts and sea defences. Students could be asked to compare the approach to sea defences at Minehead and Porlock. They should note down the differences between 'hold the line' and 'managed retreat' strategies. Finally, students could be asked to outline the pros and cons of each approach.