East Yorkshire coastal erosion

Skipsea Withow


 Skipsea Withow site location



Skipsea Withow Mere was one among many meres, or lakes, across Holderness that resulted from retreating glaciation, and may have been one of the larger ones. Hornsea Mere still exists but Withow was being consumed by coastal erosion some four centuries ago.

The eastern remnant, a lake margin marked by beds of peat and sediments, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and a number of studies have been conducted over recent years.

Organic material within the peat layers is dated as being nearly 10,000 years old at the bottom and around 4,500 years at the top.

Meanwhile, erosion by the sea is relentless. The first three pictures are of the track leading to Withow from Cliff Road, off Hornsea Road, Skipsea [TA 18152 55186]. They depict cliff recession over a period of twenty-two months.


 Skipsea - Cliff Road [5 August 2011]

On the left of the picture, a concrete base can be seen. Some historic satellite imagery shows the cliff top community still situated on the seaward side of the track [5th August 2011].



 Skipsea - Cliff Road [30 April 2012]

[30th April 2012].



 Skipsea - Cliff Road [26 May 2013]

[26th May 2013].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (2)

Further along, the way is lost completely [30/04/12].


 
 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (notice)

A route along the cliff top is not only physically denied but officially, too [02/06/13].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (3)

Alternative access to the Withow site is possible by walking the Withow Dyke, part of which is shown here, from Mr Moo’s ice cream parlour on the B1242 road [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (4)

Gap leading to the beach [16/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (profile)

Sketch of main beds at Withow.


 
 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (5)

Skipsea Withow site from low water. The yellow thread at the left of the picture is a dangling drainage pipe. There is a small tent pitched on the stony heaped beach under the southern exposure. Surface level of the mere may have been about five or six metres above the present beach [15/07/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (6)

Section of the northern exposure [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (7)

From a different angle [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (8)

Close-up of northern exposure [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (9)

The southern exposure [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (10)

Close-up of southern exposure [16/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (11)

Silts and gravel beds [16/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (12)

Wave undercut [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (13)

Ancient logs from post-glacial forests in peat [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (14)

Long piece [16/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (15)

Another [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (16)

Cross section [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (17)

Split lump of peat (fallen on to side) [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (18)

Large lump of peat material [30/04/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (19)

Wartime debris provides a rest [15/07/12].



 Skipsea Withow, East Yorkshire (20)

Incoming tide at Withow [16/04/12].


top

more on East Yorkshire coastal erosion

home


Pictures and text by Brian Williams.