Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 771–784 | Cite as

Cliff instability and erosion management in England and Wales

  • Roger MooreEmail author
  • Geoff Davis


Coastal risk management has received increasing attention from policy-makers and practitioners over the last 20 years. The introduction by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), of a new approach to coastal risk management in England, led to the Environment Agency being given overall responsibility for the management of coastal risks in 2007. The establishment of a framework for coastal management, together with appropriate policy guidance, is particularly important on account of the increasing influence that predicted climate change may have on coastal economies, infrastructure, communities and conservation interests over the next century. Within this framework, the issue of coastal land instability is now being considered alongside the hazards of coastal erosion and flooding. In developing coastal management policies, and in deciding on whether coastal change should be adapted to rather than prevented, the availability of funding for coastal risk management projects and schemes is often an overriding consideration. This is encouraging new and innovative approaches for the avoidance of risks, through the implementation of adaptation strategies and the publication of improved advice and guidance. This paper describes recent policy guidance for coastal cliffs introduced in England and Wales, as well as the testing of new approaches in the field, and provides examples of updated tools to support engagement with stakeholders.


Cliff instability Coastal erosion Climate change Coastal management 



The authors would like to thank clients and colleagues at Halcrow Group Ltd (A CH2M HILL Company), the University of Sussex, Defra, Environment Agency and Professor Robin McInnes, all of whom have contributed to this work in some way over many years.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CH2M HILLBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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