Campaigner hopes video will keep council focussed on sea wall

By Emily Pearce

Monday, July 7, 2014


Campaigner hopes video will keep council focussed on sea wall

Totland Sea Wall. Picture courtesy of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency/Isle of Wight Council.

A CAMPAIGNER fighting to save the collapsed sea wall at Totland has made a short video pleading for the walkway to be repaired.

Helen Wood shot the video in Totland and Colwell to show Isle of Wight councillors how popular the coastal spot is, and how much the footpath is missed by beachgoers.

She said: "I wanted to show them how Totland and Colwell are affected by the loss of the sea wall, which would once have been packed with people walking between the two bays. Tourists and locals alike are very eager to see this work completed. I hope this little film demonstrates how much both bays depend on the currently broken link between them being re-established.

The Isle of Wight Council executive is due to consider the future of the sea wall, which collapsed following a landslide in December, 2012, at its meeting tonight (Monday), as part of a wider report on flooding and coastal damage across the Island following severe winter storms.

As previously reported, multimillion pound plans to rebuild the sea wall look set to be shelved in favour of a cheaper 'make do and mend' solution. Executive members agreed last month officers should further investigate proposals to partially repair the wall and lay an unsurfaced footpath, which would cost an estimated £175,000 to £200,000.

The video can be viewed below:


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Displaying the last 10 of 17 comments - Show All Comments

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by George Hollett

9th July 2014, at 10:32:47


Indeed, I think the 'make do & mend' is a good option, especially how Adrian describes it.

It is nice to see that we all support this very worthy cause & can agree on a viable solution. :-)

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by Helen Wood

8th July 2014, at 17:38:08

George, it's good that we agree about how beautiful it is at Totland. Of course, tourists visit the whole island and that's why we have to make the whole island coastline accessible. I don't think that island resorts can be compared; they all have their own unique qualities. It's that diversity which makes the island so popular to visit, which is why the focus has to be spread. Ryde of course is splendid, I grew up there, but the West Wight without doubt offers much natural beauty and that is what West Wight tourists come here for as evidenced by the petition comments (4202 signees). Luckily the "make do and mend " scheme offers the quick fix you suggest at a very modest costing, without repairing the entire wall, and as Adrian suggests, may even become an attraction in its own right. The "make do and mend" scheme has already been approved as the preferred fix. I think it's a great option. :-)

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by George Hollett

8th July 2014, at 17:02:18

Adrian - a very good thought indeed...

Helen, I am just trying to suggest the best option for all concerned. I don't disagree with you about how nice the area is - my wife & I used to walk along the wall quite a lot. With regard to how popular the area is compared to other Esplanades across the Island, I am not going to comment much further, as I do not have access to any statistical data that would support further comment. Tourists visit places all over the Island, so how you could quantify how many visit Totland I do not know.

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by adrian beane

8th July 2014, at 15:12:28

I don't think the "make do and mend" option is trying to stop nature. I think it is a rather clever and inventive option to use the material that nature has provided and allowing us to coexist with what has happened. It provides a path across the area and serves to prevent further erosion at a minimum cost. If handled correctly it could even become a tourist attraction in it's own right allowing people to traverse the landslip and view what nature has done. Just a thought.

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by Helen Wood

8th July 2014, at 11:54:30

George Hollett. In answer to your two points. The currently proposed "make do and mend scheme" (option 2) is JUST as you describe, it is a quick fix which comes in at a tenth of the original costing. It opens up the path for people to enjoy without reconstructing the entire wall.
I disagree about the sea wall at Totland not being known, tourists who cycle and walk come from all over the world to enjoy the West Wight and it is one of the most iconic walks on the island with views over Hurst castle! The Needles and miles of Hampshire and Dorset coastline. It is as much of a destination as it's illustrious neighbours and as such is worth saving as much as ANY of the Islands other sea walls and esplanades. It is a total package and it's why people want to visit our beautiful island.

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by George Hollett

8th July 2014, at 11:28:15

Before anybody starts shooting me down in flames I would just like to say that, yes, money being no object I would like to see the sea wall reinstated to how it was originally. However, money at the moment is an issue. Unfortunately, the wall in question is perhaps not as important or well known as Ryde Esplanade, Cowes or Sandown Esplanades. There are probably people on the Island who have never walked along the Totland sea wall but I bet they have at Ryde, Cowes & Sandown. So, why not re-open the sea wall at Totland by means of a 'quick fix' now & when there are a few more pennies in the pot make a more permanent repair? If more money was spent now, what would it be to the sacrifice of?

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by roger mazillius

8th July 2014, at 08:52:48

Well said Helen!

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by Patrick Hall

8th July 2014, at 08:34:22

It cannot be just left to nature, it has to be addressed. If it was Ryde Esplanade, Cowes sea front or Sandown Esplanade would anyone say 'leave it to nature'? Certainly not.
I'm old enough to remember the large signs stating that it was War Department property telling people to keep out. Nobody took much notice of course and today it is an essential feature of the coastline helping to attract walkers and tourists to the West Wight.

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by LJ Parker

8th July 2014, at 03:13:42

I think they should make it as nice as the seawall from Nodes Point in St Helens to Priory Bay ...

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by Helen Wood

7th July 2014, at 23:23:22

Fact: the IW Council have already agreed on Option 2, the "make do and mend" scheme.
Fact: they have already rejected doing 'nothing'.
Fact: this comes in at a tenth of the original costings, at just £175-200k
Fact: The island's coastline IS worth investing In if we want to attract tourists and those wanting to access our coastline.
Fact: this is a simple fix which ticks many of the boxes at a fraction of the price.
Fact: routine clay slips are regular and easily cleared, the major recent landslip was caused by ground movement and is therefore a more freak occurrence not likely to be repeated.
The purpose of the little film was to give cabinet members the wider context and see how deeply the loss of this fabulous island amenity impacts on both the bays it links. This isn't just about local access, people comes from all over the world to see one of the most iconic walks on the island. I wanted to remind the cabinet that time is crucial, it needs fixing sooner ra

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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