Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 12:48 UK

Shingle work to cut floods risk

Shingle at Pett Levels
The shingle is recycled and moved to the parts of the beach that need it

Enough shingle to fill 500 double decker buses is being recycled to reduce the risk of coastal flooding to homes and farmland in East Sussex.

Work at the four-mile (7km) stretch of shingle beach between Nook Point and Cliff End, at Pett Levels, near Hastings, got under way this week.

Between September and March each year the Environment Agency moves shingle from Nook Point to Cliff End.

It is then taken to where it is needed in order to build up the beach.

The Environment Agency said without the work, erosion and movement of shingle would leave the sea wall exposed to flooding.

"This shingle recycling work means we are able to maintain the defences so they are ready for the spring tides and stormy weather," said Mark Douch, area flood risk manager.

"Recycling is the most cost-effective way of maintaining the beach whilst still allowing the natural coastal processes to continue, protecting people's homes, farmland and important natural habitats."

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