Concerned residents of Seaford have taken up the task of moving shingles from the mouth of the River Cuckmere in a bid to save the Cuckmere Haven after years of neglect by the Environmental Agency. Residents have set up a Facebook group asking for volunteers to move enough shingle and create a channel from the sea to the Cuckmere to allow the river to flow into the sea and vice versa.
“OnTuesday 18th of August brilliant progress was made with the help of some amazing volunteers, we moved enough shingles to create a very small channel,” says Guy Denney the organiser and creator of the Facebook group. “A further and bigger event is planned for Saturday 22nd August from 11am to 4pm. I hope to see more residents turn up on Saturday” he says.
“Due to rainfall on Wednesday (19th of August) the river is flowing as a one off, this does not do away with the need to move shingle away from the mouth of the Cuckmere and to create a channel from the river to the Sea as it is vital that the Cuckmere remains tidal” explains Guy Denney.
The Facebook group created by Guy Denney is called “The Cuckmere Clean Up” https://www.facebook.com/groups/2656616094579632, within 2 days of its creation, it has over 270 members.
According to Councillor Sam Adeniji “ the Environment Agency’s refusal to dredge the mouth of the Cuckmere has meant that the meanders have dried up, and fish are dying due to a lack of oxygen in the river and a low water level, this poses a danger to wildlife and a health hazard to people”
“Last winter due to heavy rainfall the Cuckmere meanders were completely flooded as a result of the Environment Agency’s refusal to de-shingle the mouth of the Cuckmere river, by clearing enough shingle to create a channel to the sea we may help prevent a future occurrence”
Councillor Adeniji adds “instead of being a magical meander, Cuckmere haven now has an unpleasant smell, the efforts of local residents to take control of the situation led by Guy Denney puts the Environment Agency to shame, it shows that the people of Seaford are determined to save the Cuckmere”