Annual Coastal Erosion Survey Taking Place

Survey work is underway this week to assess whether coastal erosion has affected any of our islands’ beaches over the past year. A team of four scientists from the Plymouth Coastal Observatory are monitoring and measuring any loss of sand or significant movements on all of the inhabited islands.

The survey takes place every September when the tidal range is highest. The findings will be collated back in Plymouth and can be accessed by the Council, Environment Agency and research organisations for flood and coastal erosion planning.

Here, they’ll be liaising with Climate Control Officer, David Senior.

Nathan Sykes is team leader and says they record the measurements using state of the art technology including highly accurate GPS mapping. These are beamed back to computers at the Telegraph Tower.

Nathan says some changes year-on-year seem to stand out before they have even measured the data. Bar Point in particular is very dynamic, he says, and he can see it looks different from last year’s survey. But he thinks this is mainly due to the wind and tide moving sediment around rather than any sea-level rise.

You can learn more about their work at