Letter of the day

(Left to right) Sue James, Owen Plunkett and Elizabeth Longland from the Portsmouth Oxfam Group

South Down walks to help make a difference in Niger

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Have your say

Loughlan Campbell’s report about Southsea’s sea defences completely misses the point that a tiered concrete wall on the lines of the one at Cleveley north of Blackpool would not be an adequate or sustainable design to defend Southsea seafront.

It would also entail the loss of the beach - which is vital to us as residents and to visitors to the city - and, having seen what happened to the concrete sea defences in front of The Pyramids - smashed again even after tons of rocks were piled into the breach - concrete may fail against the power of the sea.

What is needed now is new thinking - about soft rather than hard engineering, and learning from other seagirt countries facing rising sea levels. The Dutch idea of mounding as a second defence behind the beach could also cover new facilities: car parking, drainage, cafes and other ways to enjoy the seafront.

We would continue to enjoy views out to sea, and having seen how the beach at Eastney is being colonised by plants, enjoy salt resistant species growing on the new sea protection.

The exhibition in Portsmouth Cathedral, which is on until July 21, gives local people to consider the alternatives - between soft and hard engineering - between current ways of hard resistance to the power of waves, tide and storms to the older, softer dykes which keep Holland alive.

Celia Clark

Florence Road

Southsea