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Press release

  • 9 March 2006

Coastal research at Sussex is EU showcase star

At risk: Marker pebbles are surveyed in beach research at Sussex

At risk: Marker pebbles are surveyed in beach research at Sussex

Research by University of Sussex geographers that will shed light on the future of our threatened coastline has been given pride of place at a special European Union showcase highlighting the crucial work EU-funded projects.

Out of 200 schemes, the University of Sussex-led Beaches at Risk (BAR) project was one of only three picked to be showcased at the Government Office of the South East in Ashford, Kent.

Organised by the Interreg IIIa Franco-British Cross-Border programme, the event saw Dr Cherith Moses, Lecturer in Physical Geography, give a talk on the project to an audience of 150 French and English delegates. The meeting was hosted by the Directeur Général des Services, Conseil Régional Haute Normandie and the Director of European & Corporate Services. The project also had a stand with leaflets, posters and reports on display.

The Beaches at Risk (BAR) project aims to promote the importance of effective beach management for coastal defence, dune rehabilitation, tourism and biodiversity conservation, along the Channel coastline. To do this, the BAR project is studying beaches suffering greatest erosion on both the Channel coasts in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and Kent and Seine Maritime, Somme, Nord and Pas-de-Calais on the French side.

"We are studying the effect of sea level rise on coastal areas in partnership with East Sussex County Council and in collaboration with Brighton and Hove City Council and other organisations," says Dr Moses, Lecturer in Physical Geography. "If beach volumes are declining, changing the shape of the shoreline, this leaves coastal structures and land more susceptible to erosion. The project is now in its fourth year and it is a measure of its success that it has been selected as an Interreg IIIa showcase project.

"The region we're studying contains outstanding coastal areas that are under pressure from property development, localised rapid erosion and high levels of tourism. The BAR project will help to inform effective beach management strategies," says Dr Moses.

The BAR project brings together geographers, geologists, ecologists, and coastal managers from both sides of the Channel, whose sharing of expertise is enhancing understanding of the nature of the region and the risks it faces.

Notes for editors

  • University of Sussex researchers Drs Uwe Dornbusch, Cherith Moses, David Robinson and Rendel Williams have joined forces with East Sussex County Council ecologists Dr Alex Tait and Dr Kate Cole and Kent Wildlife Trust ecologist Byrony Chapman, and a French team of Prof Arnaud Hequette, Prof Edward Anthony  and Dr Olivier Cohen at the Université du Littoral in Dunkerque, Dr Stéphane Costa, Prof Daniel Delahay and Dr Franck Levoy at the Université de Caen, Dr Benoit Laignel at the Université de Rouen and Dr Julian Bastide at SMACOPI (Syndicat Mixte pour l'Aménagement de la Côte Picarde)
  • The funding for the BAR project comes from the European Union's Interreg III programme.

Dr Cherith Moses can be contacted on 01273 877037 or email

Project web page:

Press Office contacts: Maggie Clune or Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888 or email

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