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Coastal Erosion (Warden Bay)

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

13. Whether the coastal erosion plans for Warden bay include replanting shrubs and trees at the top of the cliffs. (144196)

The Forestry Commission visited Warden bay on 8 June to advise whether trees and woodland might be used to assist in managing coastal erosion. The commission has now written to the local authority and I will ask it to send a copy of its letter to my hon. Friend.

Is my hon. Friend aware that there was a 50-acre site of Dutch elm at the top of the cliff, which had to be taken down? That is one of the reasons why the cliff is a “C” shape. We are busy putting £865,000 of rubble at the bottom, but the top is also going. May I press him on who would fund putting trees and hedges back at the top?

I am certainly aware that there are cliff-top issues, particularly with regard to drainage. Planting shrubs can play a role in addressing that. I am not sure that that is necessarily the responsibility of the Environment Agency, which is funding the coastal erosion work. If my hon. Friend wants to have a discussion with me, I would be happy to see whether there are possibilities for future funding.