Woman who moved to Hornsea for 'beautiful views' fears coastal erosion

  • Watch Matt Price's visit to erosion-hit Ulrome on the East Yorkshire coast.

A woman who moved to the East Yorkshire coast for its "beautiful views" fears it is already too late to stop erosion claiming her home.

Gemma Brown says the North Sea is encoraching "closer and closer" on her house in Ulrome near Hornsea.

Ms Brown, who has lived there for eight years, says recent storms have increased the threat.

She told ITV News: "I still reckon we've got a few more years but if it's taking it how it has in the last couple of months we've got less time."

Ms Brown, who is originally from Leeds, said the area used to be buzzing with cafés and amusements.

Now she says it is quickly becoming a "ghost area" as local caravan parks come under threat due to erosion.

Gemma says Ulrome is fast becoming a "ghost area" due to the erosion. Credit: ITV News

She said she holds little hope of the problem being reversed.

"I think it's long gone what they can do to stop it to be honest," she said.

"There used to be a wall and as soon as that got taken down it's just eaten it [the coastline] away so I'm not sure what they can do to prevent it."

She added that when the sea is rough she can see soil being thrown into the air as the sea crashes against the cliffs.

The East Yorkshire coastline recedes by an average of six metres a year, with some areas falling back by 12 to 15 metres.

It has been vulnerable to North Sea erosion for the last millennium, according to Dr Eddie Dempsey, a lecturer in structural geology at the University of Hull.

He says the combination of clay, silt and sand that makes up East Yorkshire's low-lying landscape is especially susceptible.

North Sea erosion is nothing new for people living in Ulrome. In 2012 the coastal road between Ulrome and Skipsea collapsed into the sea. Credit: PA

Dr Dempsey said climate change was causing more frequent storms and more rainfall which weakens the sediment, causing cliffs to collapse.

"Climate change is here and now," he said. "We've been warning about it for 30 years, saying things will change in the future. We are going to have to learn to live with landslides and erosion on the coast."

In a statement, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), said: "We know the devastating impact that flooding and coastal erosion, including in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire which is why we are investing £5.2 billion between 2021 and 2027 to better protect communities in England from these extreme weather events."

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