1. ITV Report

Coastal erosion: How is it affecting Wales?

Evidence suggests over 700 properties could be at risk from coastal erosion across Wales over the next century Photo: ITV News Wales

In tonight's programme we’ll be taking a look at coastal erosion and how it’s affecting Wales.

Historically, coastal erosion in Wales is considered to be low. Experts estimate that 1.4 km² of land and three properties have been lost to coastal erosion over the last century.

But UK Climate Projections 2009 suggest that by 2050 sea levels around Wales are predicted to rise by approximately 20cm and storm intensity in summer and winter will increase.

This could lead to more severe storms - and larger waves attacking our shores.

According to the Welsh Government, evidence suggests that over 700 properties could be at risk from coastal erosion across Wales in the next 100 years.

The Welsh Government has published its first National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management in Wales.

It sets out four principal objectives for managing flood and coastal erosion risk. These are:

  • Reducing the consequences for individuals, communities, businesses and the environment from flooding and coastal erosion
  • Raising awareness of and engaging people on flood and coastal erosion risk
  • Providing an effective and sustained response to flood and coastal erosion events
  • Prioritising investment in the communities most at risk

The strategy was launched just days after 15 caravans were left hanging over the edge of a cliff at Porthkerry in the Vale of Glamorgan after a section of it collapsed.

No one was injured, but Environment Minister John Griffiths called it a 'devastating' reminder of the consequences of coastal erosion.

The Welsh coast currently has around 415km of constructed coastal defence structures, protecting over £8 billion of assets from coastal erosion and tidal flooding.