An alleged tidal increase of over a metre this century would mean all
existing defences being revisited and all new defences having to be reconsidered particularly for Eastern Rother.
We know from a few years back that, though the nature reserve soakaway reduced the impact of a very high December tide by diverting a lot of water into the reserve, we were still only a few inches of water below the the walls and defences surrounding Rock Channel and Strand Quay – and disaster.
So a “Rye Barrier” in the form of a lock just the town side of the trading estate wharf would make sense and still allow some “port” activities and fishermen on the seaward side – though Rye Harbour might need some additional defences.
In Camber however the issue would be using a mix of sea wall and dunes to carry the existing wall up to the edge of Camber at Jury Gap right through westwards to the Rother’s mouth.
We should not forget that until relatively recently Rye was surrounded by water and if we do not plan ahead, nature could reclaim what it has lost in the last few hundred years.
Image Credits: John Minter.