Hemsby’s Battle Against Coastal Erosion: Residents Feel Abandoned by Government

Village on the Brink: Hemsby’s Battle Against Coastal Erosion

The picturesque village of Hemsby, nestled along the Norfolk coastline, is facing an uncertain future as relentless coastal erosion puts nearly 100 homes at risk of tumbling into the sea.

This ongoing crisis has stirred a heated debate, with residents and local authorities grappling with the challenges of securing their homes against nature’s relentless encroachment.

Government Abandonment: Residents of Hemsby feel abandoned by the government as their plea for a sea defence scheme fell on deaf ears.

Despite shocking images capturing a home teetering on the precipice after a cliff collapse, the government has decided not to fund the planned defence project.

The rejection leaves the village in a state of vulnerability as erosion continues to eat away at the coastline.

Inflated Costs and Withdrawn Support: Local authorities initially embraced a sea defence project to protect Hemsby.

However, as time passed, the project’s cost ballooned from £15 million to £20 million due to inflation.

This financial hurdle forced the government to withdraw its support.

In response, they have opted for a short-term measure—importing rocks for coastal defence—but residents believe it’s insufficient to address the looming threat.

Desperate Measures: Frustration and despair have settled over the community as they grapple with the uncertainty of living in homes that could slip into the sea at any moment.

Some have resorted to moving their houses further inland to buy time.

However, this is just a temporary reprieve in the face of an inevitable crisis that hangs over Hemsby like a shadow.

Legal Battle for Survival: The “Save Hemsby Coastline” campaign is resorting to crowdfunding for a legal challenge against the government’s refusal to fund the coastal defence.

This grassroots effort is a testament to the residents’ determination to fight for their village’s survival.

Climate Change and Government Funding: The Environment Agency has specified stringent criteria for government funding, and they argue that the proposed scheme for Hemsby doesn’t meet these requirements.

Climate change and its consequences are putting coastal communities at risk, prompting challenging questions about how to allocate government resources for protection against the rising tides.


The plight of Hemsby serves as a stark reminder of the challenges coastal communities face in the era of climate change.

Rising sea levels and increased erosion are forcing communities to confront the reality of losing their homes.

The government’s decision to withdraw support due to cost escalation underscores the financial constraints in addressing these issues.

Hemsby’s residents are determined to fight for their village, but their struggle highlights the broader challenges associated with adapting to the changing climate.

As climate change continues to pose a growing threat to coastal areas worldwide, it is essential for governments to reassess funding criteria and take proactive measures to protect vulnerable communities.

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