Coastal erosion: The Norfolk nurse who is watching her street fall into the sea

Every morning Nicola Bayless looks out from her landing window to see if the cliff edge has crept any closer.

When her parents bought a property in Beach Road in the coastal village of Happisburgh in north Norfolk in 2000, the house was in the middle of the street.

Today, it's one just one house away from the water - and she is frightened.

"I always go out on to the landing, to look out my window to see if there's anything gone during the night," she told ITV News Anglia.

"It's frightening because when I moved here there was a field.

"There was a road beyond that and now I'm actually the one on the edge it's quite terrifying," said Ms Bayless, a nurse.

In just 20 years, 34 homes have been lost.

  • Then and now: Aerial photographs show how the cliffs have crumbled

Nicola's house on the top right of the screen in 1996 Credit: Mike Page photography

The north Norfolk coast is at the front line of the battle against coastal erosion.

Some 84% of properties at risk of coastal erosion in England are in either north Norfolk or East Riding in Yorkshire.

They will share a £36m government funding pot to help communities adapt to the challenges.

But this money will not be used for coastal defences or compensation to home owners - it is more about buying sites further inland so if car parks, schools, churches and the like come under threat - they can be rebuilt elsewhere.

Angie Fitch-Tillett from North Norfolk District Council said it was a change in approach.

"At the moment everything we do in coastal management is re-active and we have got the opportunity now to become pro-active which has to be good," she said.

"We've got a blank canvas - we can do moveable houses, we can plan re-routing roads. We've got to really think outside the box."

Malcolm Kerby, who has been campaigning for 20 years for government help, is delighted at the funding.

"I really think it's fantastic because after 23 years of pushing this agenda at the heart of government this is the first sign that government is beginning to recognise the extent and the depths of the problem on the coast. Marvellous."

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