Barrow Borough Council has a coastline that is approximately
63km long, of which around 22km are defended against either erosion
or flooding. Of this 22km, Barrow BC is responsible for maintaining
about 7km with the remainder divided between various other bodies
and private companies. The remaining 41km of undefended coastline
consists of shingle beaches, clay cliffs, sand dunes and salt
Image of Coast Road, Barrow by
The whole of the Borough's coastline, except for a short
section on Walney Island between Hillock Whins and Sandy Gap, is
designated internationally, nationally or locally as
In the United Kingdom, the Department of The Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs (Defra
responsible for the protection of the coastline from flooding and
Responsibility for the coastline is divided between various
authorities in accordance with legislation. Coastal Protection
authorities such as Barrow Borough Council have permissive powers
under the Coast Protection Act 1949 to carry out works in their
area to protect the coast from erosion.
The construction and maintenance of
to resist coastal flooding is carried out by the Environment Agency in
accordance with the Water Resources Act 1991. The powers derived
from these acts are permissive, which means that whilst authorities
may carry out works there is no legal obligation to do so. However,
the Council does have a legal requirement under the EU Habitats
Directive to protect and, where possible, enhance internationally
When discussing coast defence it is useful to note the
following definitions to ensure understanding of
the terms being used:
- Coast Defence a collective term used to encompass both
protection from flooding and erosion caused by the sea.
- Coast Protection describes measures used to protect the land
against erosion and encroachment from the sea.
- Flood Defence describes measures used to alleviate flooding,
whether from rivers or from the sea.
The Council currently employs Capita Symonds
to carry out
its functions as Coast Protection Authority. If there are any
queries about any of the information in this section of the website
Principal Coastal Engineer
tel. 01229 894515
fax 01229 894542.