According to specialists, Atlantic-facing coastlines down through Europe have receded significantly since the beginning of January, and in certain parts by up to 10-metres of beach has been lost to the ocean. Coastal communities up and down the littoral zone have expressed concern, and rightly so as it’s not just seafront constructions that have taken a hit, the whole Atlantic coastline, and in particular sandy zones, has experienced severe erosion.
While the rockier topography of the U.K. and Brittany resisted better to the storms successive assaults over the last month, the sandy beaches of the south west of France haven’t faired so well. A recent study comprising 270km of beach in the French departments of Gironde and Pyrénées Atlantic confirms that up to 10 metres of beach has been lost to the ocean at multiple locations.
With the end of winter still a fair way away, further studies will no doubt be necessary to assess the full consequences of such a sustained run of severe weather and coastal erosion. What’s for certain though is that the Les Landes’ dunes and sandbanks will need a fair bit of time to recover the sand they’ve lost.