Vanishing England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 374 pages of information about Vanishing England.
caused an immense amount of damage, the result entirely of this dredging.  The company had to pay heavily, and the royalties were returned to them.  This is only one instance out of many which might be quoted.  We are an illogical nation, and our regulations and authorities are weirdly confused.  It appears that the foreshore is under the control of the Board of Trade, and then a narrow strip of land is ruled over by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests.  Of course these bodies do not agree; different policies are pursued by each, and the coast suffers.  Large sums are sometimes spent in coast-defence works.  At Spurn no less than L37,433 has been spent out of Parliamentary grants, besides L14,227 out of the Mercantile Marine Fund.  Corporations or county authorities, finding their coasts being worn away, resolve to protect it.  They obtain a grant in aid from Parliament, spend vast sums, and often find their work entirely thrown away, or proving itself most disastrous to their neighbours.  If you protect one part of the coast you destroy another.  Such is the rule of the sea.  If you try to beat it back at one point it will revenge itself on another.  If only you can cause shingle to accumulate before your threatened town or homestead, you know you can make the place safe and secure from the waves.  But if you stop this flow of shingle you may protect your own homes, but you deprive your neighbours of this safeguard against the ravages of the sea.  It was so at Deal.  The good folks of Deal placed groynes in order to stop the flow of shingle and protect the town.  They did their duty well; they stopped the shingle and made a good bulwark against the sea.  With what result?  In a few years’ time they caused the destruction of Sandown, which had been deprived of its natural protection.  Mr. W. Whitaker, F.R.S., who has walked along the whole coast from Norfolk to Cornwall, besides visiting other parts of our English shore, and whose contributions to the Report of the Royal Commission on Coast Erosion are so valuable, remembers when a boy the Castle of Sandown, which dated from the time of Henry VIII.  It was then in a sound condition and was inhabited.  Now it is destroyed, and the batteries farther north have gone too.  The same thing is going on at Dover.  The Admiralty Pier causes the accumulation of shingle on its west side, and prevents it from following its natural course in a north-easterly direction.  Hence the base of the cliffs on the other side of the pier and harbour is left bare and unprotected; this aids erosion, and not unfrequently do we hear of the fall of the chalk cliffs.

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Vanishing England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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