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Preservation of The Naze in Walton moves a step closer

Work begins to protect The Naze

Work on a £1.2m project to secure the future of The Naze in Walton has moved a step closer to commencing.

Builders J Breheny Contractors have been awarded the contract to create the 'Crag Walk' - a 110 metre long rock walkway along the crumbling cliffs.

Coastal erosion has threatened the Site of Special Scientific Interest and its iconic Naze Tower for decades.

Work to build the walkway and a new viewing platform is due to start in early 2011 and be completed by spring.

Funding for the walk, part of the Naze Heritage Project, was announced in February.

View of the coastal erosion threatening Naze Tower and the area around it
About two metres of the Naze is lost to the sea each year

The walkway, which will double up as sea defences, will include five interpretation boards about the area, its wildlife and the Tower.

Michelle Nye-Brown, committee member of the Naze Protection Society and one of the owners of the Grade II-listed Naze Tower, told BBC Essex it was an important moment in their efforts to save the Naze from the North Sea.

"The Tower is the symbol of the town of Walton-on-the-Naze and it would be terrible to lose the iconic building that represents your town to the sea," she said.

"We've been campaigning for a really long time to get some sort of protection up there at the Naze, over 20 years of campaigning.

"It's a major local issue and also for people who like to visit. Obviously it's a real tourist area and people want to see the tower safe, and also some of the Naze as well."

"When [the tower] was built it was actually a quarter of a mile inland, now it only stands 50 metres from the edge," she added.

Naze Tower in Walton-on-the-Naze
Naze Tower was built by Trinity House in 1721 as a marker for passing ships

"If we don't hurry up and build crag walk as soon as possible we are going to lose that building to the sea."

Michelle explained the Naze itself was of international importance, but was prone to falling into the sea.

"It's actually made up of fossils and the cliffs there are made up of fossils that are up to 50 million years old," said Michelle.

"There's things like sharks teeth and also shells and it's actually the shells and the section they come from which is called red crag, which is particularly important because they were dated back to the on-set of the last ice age in Europe.

"So it's a very important geological site."

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04 Feb 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
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