By Matthew Hatchwell
The Environment Agency has just published a 10-year monitoring review of the projected impacts of sea level rise on the Thames Estuary. Although the study area ends at the mouth of the Medway and so does not include Faversham, many of the report’s findings are relevant for the broader region. The headline figures in the new report are that average sea level rise in the Estuary since 1990 has been 3.6 mm per year (compared to a baseline trend of 1.4 mm per year), which translates into a projected increase by 2100 of 1.15 metres at Southend-on-Sea, which is similar to what we can expect for north Kent. Sea level is projected to continue rising further after 2100.
The projected impacts of such a sea level rise in Faversham were shown in this map published in Faversham Eye in 2020. Low-lying areas along Faversham and Oare Creeks, the Westbrook and Cooksditch — along with large areas of coastal marsh and farmland including the Cleve Hill site (Nagden Marsh) and Oare Marshes — will be flooded at least once a year by the end of the century if no action is taken to raise sea defences.