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Flooding to submerge parts of Deal and Sandwich

Flood defences at Sandwich
Flood defences at Sandwich

by Mary Louis

Huge tracts of countryside around Deal and Sandwich could be swamped and lost to the sea forever in coming decades, according to a Kent expert.

This grim fate applies to south Kent's three major golf courses and would decimate the area's rich and diverse wildlife.

Nearly a third of east Kent is likely to sink below the waves by 2200, says Dr Geoff Meaden.

"Call of the Wild: What Kent's wildlife and countryside tells us about climate change," will be his subject and that of another county expert, RSPB Kent site manager Michael Walter, in Deal on Friday, April 16.

Dr Meaden said: "Given the accelerating rate of sea level rise, within the first half of this century we will see a desperate struggle to maintain most of the land between Deal and Sandwich.

"Since the land will be too expensive to defend, it is more than likely that the authorities will allow this fresh-water marsh and grassland to revert to salt marsh.

"The Prince's, Royal St George's and Cinque Port golf links will be temporarily isolated on a narrow coastal shingle ridge before they too disappear beneath the sea during the next century."

Because Dover is on higher ground the effects would be less severe. The harbour walls would likely need to be raised and there would be some risk to buildings in the immediate vicinity. The famous white cliffs were also likely to suffer some damage.

Dr Meaden is an active, leading environmental campaigner, who has just retired as principal geography lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Mr Walter has seen many changes in wildlife patterns at the Blean Woods National Nature Reserve in the past 28 years, probably connected with climate change.

He said: "There is a real danger of prey and predator life cycles becoming decoupled and of many species, from insects through to trees, becoming extinct.

"The whole appearance and ecology of the reserve, and much of the Kent countryside, could change dramatically in the next 50 years or so."

  • , a Dover and Deal-based community Green group, committed to minimising environmental impact and tackling climate change in the district.Deal With It, Deal High Street and has been organised by The Landmark CentreThe illustrated talk is at 7pm at

What do you think? Are Deal and Sandwich under threat, or is it just scaremongering? Join the debate by clicking on the comment link at the top of the page

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