Sunday, 27 January 2008

Shifting Shores

Craig, who is the National Trust Warden of Strangford Lough, presented us with a thought-provoking pamphlet yesterday entitled Shifting Shores: Living With A Changing Coastline. This publication has been commissioned by the Trust and written by a team of experts from Ulster's two universities.

It focuses on three sites in the Province: the Giant's Causeway; Strangford Lough; and Murlough. The Report theorizes on the possible consequences of climate change on these places within the next hundred years.

It's not a long booklet: it runs to about sixteen pages with plenty of illustrations. However, it's interesting to learn about their predictions, how sea levels will rise; and how this will affect our coastline.

It concludes by suggesting that we should basically let the forces of Nature take their course, not resisting them. For example, we can plan ahead by re-locating paths or roads which are too close to eroding coastline; helping to protect threatened flora and fauna by re-locating what we can inland or to another location: working with Nature.

They reckon that the average sea-level could potentially rise by up to one metre by 2100.

The National Trust has, yet again, been proactive in leading the way for government with this kind of research. It's time for the authorities to start planning for the future now.

My picture above shows the tiny hamlet of Portbradden in County Antrim.

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