Map showing the Conference location, the Isle of Wight, south coast, UK
View from Gore Cliff west to Blackgang, Isle of Wight, UK

Location Update & Field Visits

The Venue
The venue for the Conference will be the Winter Gardens Pavilion in the town of Ventnor , set in a spectacular cliff-top location overlooking the English Channel . The ĎArt Deco' Winter Gardens is situated 50 metres from the sea, overlooking the new harbour, within two minutes walk of the centre of Ventnor and close to the main hotels, restaurants, pubs and other facilities. The Venue is equipped with WIFI technology. The town of Ventnor is a 30 minute direct bus-rail ride to Ryde Pier Head and the 15 minute passenger ferry link to Portsmouth Harbour Station, which has a mainline railway link to London .

Field Visits
The Isle of Wight provides excellent opportunities for technical visits which illustrate a wide range of issues relating to the management of coastal hazards and landsliding generally.

The field visits will give Conference delegates the opportunity to observe a range of coastal landslide types and to identify the issue of climate change induced hazard and risk. Also to understand how the management response adopted by the local authority (in partnership with other interested organisations and individuals, including homeowners) has been used to control or reduce the quantified or perceived increased hazard and risk of climate change. The visits will complement the conference themes. Full-day technical field visits will take place on Wednesday 23 rd May, and will include the following elements:

•  A visit to Shanklin cliffs, a 3.5 km length of weak sandstone cliffs on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, with development at the top and base of the cliff. These cliffs lie within a major tourist area and have a history of cliff falls, including a talus failure which took place in spring 2001 following extensive winter rainfall.

•  A tour along the Isle of Wight Undercliff Landslide Complex, viewing a variety of sites affected by instability, including the location of the renowned 1928 toppling failure at Gore Cliff, Niton, which resulted in the re-routing of the coastal road. The tour will commence in the town of Ventnor , where a state-of-the-art quantitative risk assessment approach has been employed to understand the potential impacts of climate change and to evaluate the benefits of management and intervention measures. The technical visit will also provide the opportunity to visit a recently completed coast protection scheme at Castlehaven, at the western end of the Undercliff. The scheme comprises of a 550m long rock revetment on the foreshore at Reeth Bay to prevent erosion of the sea cliff, as well as an extensive system of drainage pipes and syphon drains to reduce ground water levels to the summer mean. This scheme, which is the first location in the UK where a system of syphon drains has been used to lower ground water levels, was the winner of the British Geotechnical Association 2005 Fleming Award.

•  A tour of the spectacular south-west coast of the Isle of Wight , including a visit to Afton Down, where the cliff-top main road has been under threat from coastal erosion. An innovative scheme was recently completed, whereby vertical concrete piles were installed and anchored into the solid chalk substrate on the landward side of the road, to allow coastal erosion to continue below. The tour will continue to Alum Bay and The Needles at the beautiful western tip of the Isle of Wight .

•  A visit to Seagrove Bay , Seaview, on the northeast coast where, as a result of the extremely wet winter of 2000 / 01, when widespread landsliding occurred around the Isle of Wight coastline, the coastal slope along the frontage between the slipway at Seagrove Bay and the village was subject to varying degrees of slope reactivation. A new seawall was constructed in 1999 comprising of rock groynes, a rock revetment and a new concrete wall and deck. The northern part of the bay is now at risk from both landsliding and erosion, therefore a second phase of works is being planned.

Lunch will be provided at historic country inns along the scenic route.

Undercliff Drive A3055 road failure, Isle of Wight, UK
Gore Cliff rockfall and mudslide, Isle of Wight, UK
Blackgang landslide, Isle of Wight, UK