thisbrighton.co.uk - Brighton: illustrated   (中文)

Culture: Undercliff Walk

Gotta Read It...

The Great Storm of 1987 full story...

Doing the Undercliff Walk full story...

Take Three Piers full story...

An abc of Web Design go there...

The Digital Canvas go there...

Garden Wildlife full story...

Tom Russell Hits Town full story...

Staircase at Ovingdean Gap

Ovingdean Gap

There are three breaks in the cliff. The first is at Ovingdean Gap, where there is a open air cafe and toilet facilities and a momumental staircase to the top of the cliff - see below. The second is at the historic village of Rottingdean, ruined by traffic but still worth a visit. And further on at Saltdean, the eastern most suburb of Brighton.

Because the white chalk face reflects the sun and creates a glare, you can easily do the walk without looking much at the cliff face itself. If you do you'll miss the many birds that roost and nest in the crevices of the chalk face.

People do the walk all year round. One of the best times to go is when there is a strong onshore wind at high tide. Then the waves crash over the wall sending spray high into the air. It is very dramatic.

But be sensible if there is a raging storm, it may be best to stay away.

The Structure of the Seawall

In the renovation of the wall between the Marina and Cross-section of the seawallOvingdean the city council estimated that the quanitities of materials used would be: 19,000 cubic metres of concrete, 400 flint-faced concrete panels, 1,400 tons of reinforcing steel, 9,000 cubic metres of concrete removed from the existing defences, crushed and re-used and 27,000 tons of granite boulders imported by sea, probably from Norway.

The flint-faced panels make up the front of the seawall facing the sea and taking the force of the waves. At the top is the wave return parapet. This acts as a safety barrier for visitors but its defensive function is to help channel the power of the waves back out to sea. Granite boulders are piled at the base of the wall in places to absorb the power of the waves and protect the wall itself from erosion. At the landward side of the pedestrian promeneade is the rear splashwall built against the base of the cliff to protect it from waves that overtop the seawall during storms. Those waves also carry shingle where there are beaches.

Shingle Beach or Concrete Groynes

View of seawall and granite boulder defence

Defence arrangements vary along the length of the Undercliff Walk depending on the assessed danger in each section. Where there are shingle beaches, which help protect the wall by absorbing some of the power of the waves, groynes are used in order to preserve the beaches. In other sections where the build up of shingle is sparse, more 'hard' protection in the form of granite boulders is necessary.

<previous page next page>

Laganfauld About Us | Acknowledgements | Web Design Services | My Back Pages | ©2006 Laganfauld