The Future of
In 1835 the lighthouse was around 34m from the edge of
the cliff and in 1890 it was just 30m.
Bring that forward to the present day and in 1997 the
lighthouse was perilously just 3m from the edge.
impressive engineering results of
Abbey Pynford moved
the whole lighthouse back some 17m and due to the
natural erosion of chalk it is certain that the
lighthouse will again be at risk from certain
destruction in the future
In 2032 the Belle Toute Lighthouse will be 200 years of
age and it would be nice to think that the lighthouse
will continue to be looked after and protected to proudly reach this ripe
*Please note: Previously we estimated the
erosion based on .5m to 1m per year suggesting that the
lighthouse would need to be moved in 17 to 34 years.
This was based on our own calculations during 1890 and
1997, internet research and taking into account global
warming. An erosion report that has come to our
attention actually states that the erosion rate is more
likely to be 0.03m to 0.27m per year depending on
whether it is an 'active' or 'passive' recession period.
We are working closely with
Brighton University and hope to bring you some
substantiated figures that suggest the erosion rate is
.6m per year. This would suggest at a current
distance of 18.2m that the lighthouse will need moving
again in just under 30 years. More likely in
around 24 years as it would be necessary to ensure
access to the front of the tower by which time there
should be 3.6m distance from the cliff edge.
It is important to recognise that averages are based on
the middle value of a series of figures, although these
figures are based on what has happened rather than what
yet will happen. For example if within 100 years
there was 50m of cliff that disappeared then the average
is .5m per year, however, we know that falls can precede
the average, i.e. that in 10 years there might be a
cliff fall of just 1mm but in the next 10 years there might
as much as 9m go, yet over the 20 year period the average
might still only be .5m. Therefore it is very difficult to
say when the next fall will be although it could be
substantially larger than what is expected to be the
Belle Toute is for sale and time is of the essence
for the Trust
to raise enough money to buy the property
so that it can be opened to the public and protected for
future generations of visitors to enjoy.
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business in exchange for generous contributions to the
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