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 note down any sea defences that they see. They could also be asked to explain how each of these strategies works in practice. Finally, students could be asked to suggest reasons why Butlins are prepared to help pay for the defences.