Luccombe - Blackgang - United Kingdom

Complete description of case study






Title Luccombe - Blackgang
National level United Kingdom
Regional level Isle of Wight
Local level Ventnor and the Undercliff Area


The isle of Wight lies off the South Coast of England. The pilot zone to be studied is the Ventnor Undercliff. The Undercliff extends for 12 km along the south coast of the isle, from Luccombe in the east to Blackgang in the west. The Ventnor Undercliff is a soft rock landslide complex. Waves of exceptional energy have the capacity to move sediments from offshore sources. In the Ventnor beach area, net sand migration in the offshore zone would appear to be west to east, induced by wave action in combination with spring ebb and flood tide currents. Sediment input in the study area was almost entirely derived from Cretaceous sands, silts and clays. Fine sediments are transported offshore, coarse material may remain within the confines of each bay.

Generally, the pocket beaches within the coves and bays along the study frontage exhibit easterly drift. The causes of erosion are due to: south-westerly storm waves and coastal landsliding. Tourism is the main economic sector of the isle, so Ventnor has a popular bathing beach where boating and fishing are encouraged. The strategy recommends that the hazard to the community is controlled by means of engineering works and coastal protection. The strategy consists in hard measures. Residents along the Undercliff have in the past welcomed the provision of coastal defences. This is primarily because the coastal protection works have provided long-term protection for their properties and land.


Coastal characteristics
  • Study area: 12 km.; sedimentary cell: discontinuous and limited by cliffs
  • Type of coast: soft rock coast, beaches (from sand to shingles)
  • Tidal regime: semidiurnal, mesotidal 2,4 to 3,4 m
  • Range of waves: 1-3,8 m high, H max about 6 m.
Policy options Hold the line, managed realignment, do nothing
Socio-economic activities Tourism, fisheries
Engineering techniques Seawalls, rock revetments, groynes, beach nourishment, geotextiles, slope stabilisation and drainage.


Name Robin G. McIness
Institution Isle of Wight Centre for Coastal Environment
Address County Hall, Newport
Isle of Wight PO301UD
Telephone / fax +44 198 385 60 52 / +44 198 385 62 08