Classic coastal landform 03 – a beach

Still images are very powerful because by their nature they provide a moment frozen in time. Such an image can’t help but provoke questions. Where, what, why and all the others…

Unlike moving footage there is no before and no after just the actual moment which we try to make sense of.

In geography education we want to develop enquiry – and this is precisely what a still image does. What do children make of this coastal scene south of Orford Ness at Bawdsey in Suffolk?


In the distance there is an old gun emplacement from the 1940s which is blocking the movement of shingle downshore especially immediately next to it. Closer to the foreground the beach is much wider and just look at the difference it is making to erosion of the cliffs.

The pill boxes  and other remnants of wartime defences identify the approximate position of the coastline in the 1940s.

The exposed rock wave cut platform is London Clay.

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