Lincolnshire coastal sand-shifting work under way

Image source, Environment Agency
Image caption, The work is expected to last six weeks

A £6.8m project to reduce the risk of coastal flooding to 30,000 homes and businesses in Lincolnshire has begun.

The six-week scheme will see 350,000 cubic metres of sand dredged from the North Sea and used to shore up defences between Mablethorpe and Skegness.

The Environment Agency said the sand, which has been lost to the sea during the winter months, would also ensure there was enough for visitors to enjoy.

It is moved using specialist equipment from a site 20km (12.4miles) off shore.

The amount of sand is enough to fill about 340 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Mark Robinson, senior coastal advisor at the Environment Agency, said: "Replacing the sand helps extend the life of the sea defences - defences that reduce coastal flood risk to more than 30,000 homes and businesses, 19,000 static caravans and 35,000 hectares of land."

He added that without the work there would also be very little sand available for visitors to enjoy.

The annual scheme, which first started in 1994, helps protect a number of coastal towns and villages, including Trusthorpe, Ingoldmells and Huttoft.

Flooding on the East Coast in Lincolnshire

Image source, East Lindsey District Council
  • In January, thousands of people were evacuated when a storm surge hit the East Coast, although Lincolnshire escaped largely unscathed
  • In 2013, hundreds of seals at one of the largest reserves in the UK were displaced after it was hit by coastal flooding; a nature reserve at Gibraltar Point was also badly hit
  • Two years earlier, about 75 seal pups died after a series of high tides hit the seal colony
  • North Sea flooding in 1953 claimed a total of 307 lives across England - and damaged 24,000 homes. Coastal towns in Norfolk, Suffolk , Essex, Kent and Lincolnshire were devastated

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