Henistbury Head

Henistbury Head is a headland on the coast of Bournemouth in England. It was made a SSSI (a site of special scientific interest) and contains an ancient Iron Age fortification and settlement called the Double Dykes. In this essay I will be explaining to you the problems that Henistbury Head encounters and the possible solutions.
It attracts over 1 million visitors a year, who come to see the wide variety of exotic animals that come to Henistbury Head to breed, these exotic animals include: the Dartford Warbler, the Cetti’s Warbler, the Song Thrush, the Skylark, the Kestrel, the Barn Owl, the Little Owl, the Otter, the Water Vole, Galloway Cattle, the Common Blue Butterfly, the Rabbit, Black- headed Gull and many more. Without this habitat to live in a lot of the local animals would die out because they rely on the woodland and grassland to live in and to find their food sources in.
Also if this habitat were allowed to erode away the variety of plants that it harbours would all cease to exist in this area. Another point is the beach has a lot of beach houses along the coast, which each cost over i??100,000 so it brings a lot of money to this particular area of Bournemouth. The Reasons why it was made an SSSI was because of its variety of wildlife that does not live in any other areas of this country and to allow it to erode away it would lose this status as the wildlife gradually ceases to exist.

There are many methods of dealing with this case of erosion and the visitors and the residents all have different opinions on what should be done to save Henistbury Head. The residents in Bournemouth would like a sea wall built to protect their houses and to preserve the beach. This is a very costly method and the consequences of this would be that the noise and the damage from the construction workers could affect the wildlife and destroy the environment they were trying to protect.
The visitors would like to leave the beach as it and to do this they would provide beach nourishment to the coast to prevent it from being eroded and spoiling it. The effects of this would be that the residents homes would be unprotected. The plants and wildlife live in a delicate environment and the effects of adding anything to the beach could be that it upsets the environmental balance and the plants and wildlife will be either reduced or will relocate themselves.
The natural processes that Bournemouth council are trying to protect the Headland against is erosion and longshore drift. Erosion is where acid rain, bird droppings and the sea are eating away at the cliff and headland. The longshore drift on the west was protected against this by building a long groyne but this has trapped a lot of shingle and sand there leaving the east side of Henistbury Head vulnerable to erosion and longshore drift.
The options that Bournemouth council have produced to prevent Henistbury Head from being eroded away are the following: Letting the headland erode away naturally and not waste any money (this will mean that the residents homes and the cost will be unprotected). The second option is to continue to nourish the beach with sand and shingle, by bringing them in from offshore (this is where you pump tonnes of shingle into the beaches,this will protect the coast but will not protect the headland and the residents homes).
The third option is to build more gabions and groynes (gabions are cages filled with large rocks, these break the force of the waves and slow the movement of loose beach material, this is a very cost effective method and will protect the coast and the headland , groynes are long piles of rocks that stretch into the sea building this will protect the coast). The final option is to build a sea wall all the way along the beach at the east end of Henistbury Head (this is a long and thick concrete wall and it will protect the coast, the headland and the residents homes but it could cause the wildlife to leave Henistbury Head).
The option that I would choose would be a compromise I would build gabions and groynes and I would continue to provide the beach with nourishment also I would shorten the length of the long groyne therefore allowing more shingle to flow freely. This would be a cost effective method as you do not have to pay a lot for these resources. The reasons I would use this instead of the other methods is because it will please both the residents and the visitors and would be very cheap to accomplice.

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