Cumbria Crack

MP calls for action to safeguard against coastal erosion and tidal flooding

Simon Fell MP overlooking the Walney Channel

The local MP for Barrow and Furness, Simon Fell, is taking the campaign to protect Walney Island from coastal erosion and tidal flooding right across Government.

In a recent letter that Mr Fell has sent to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Mr Fell states that he has been contacted by a number of constituents who are concerned about the gradual erosion of Walney Island.

Mr Fell goes on to say that “In the worst weather, as we saw earlier this year, Walney Island splits in two and becomes impassable. Recent studies show that the island is at risk of being underwater by 2050. The environmental, human, and economic impact of doing nothing to prevent this would be disastrous.”

The letter comes on the back of the Government’s announcement that 336,000 homes will be better protected from flooding in England by 2027 as a result of a £5.7 billion investment.

Mr Fell has asked Mr Eustice to meet with him to discuss the urgent consideration for funding to mitigate against coastal erosion and tidal flooding on Walney Island.

Commenting, Mr Fell said: “With stunning views across Morecambe Bay from its tip, and to the Irish Sea on the west coast, Walney is home to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s South Walney Nature Reserve. This shingle island reserve is full of interest and a fantastic place for bird watching. South Walney Nature Reserve is home to the only grey seal colony in Cumbria and has a 16.2 mile stretch of the England Coast Path which opened to the public in February this year.

“As I raised with the Minister for Defence Procurement recently in Parliament, Walney channel is also used by BAE Systems in pursuit of the national endeavour of producing and launching nuclear submarines from the local shipyard.

“This channel risks being silted if the current progression of coastal erosion continues. Further to this, the former public landfill on South Walney spills decades-old household waste into the Irish Sea in the worst weather – which is an unsustainable and environmentally retrograde step.

“I have written to the Secretary of State concerning these matters and I hope to be able to secure a meeting with him and his team at the earliest possible opportunity.

“I will continue to raise this matter across Government, so that Walney Island is protected from coastal erosion and tidal flooding.”