The golden beach at Hopton Holiday Village in Norfolk was one of our most loved stretches of sand, filled with happy holidaymakers, owners and local residents all year round. Until suddenly a few years ago we saw the sand start to vanish. Here’s a little blog written by Lee Derbyshire, the Owner Experience Manager at Hopton who has been very close to the project from start to finish.
In 2012 the outer harbour was built down the coast from Hopton and slowly but surely the sand disappeared until what was once a vast sandy beach was reduced to a small strip of sand, which completely disappeared when the tide came in. The crashing waves lead to the deterioration of the sea defences, and even worse the erosion of the sandy cliffs which began to threaten the caravans on the cliff tops that once overlooked the beautiful sandy stretch.
By 2013 the beach had almost vanished completely and over the last 2 years we have been working hard to help save the beach – for our caravan owners, holidaymakers and the local people in Hopton.
In 2014, after a year of no access, no beach, no sandcastles, no buckets and no spades, a light at the end of the tunnel appeared (no nothing to do with the eclipse!). This light was in fact 85,000 tonnes of Norwegian rock!
To watch this project unfold was quite a sight! The beach restoration team worked 7 days a week, 6 hours on and 6 hours off. And, over 60,000 man hours of work and nearly £10 million pounds later the job was complete.
On 7 March we celebrated with our owners with a wonderful firework celebration (a firework display that involved the team who put together the fireworks on NYE from Sydney Harbour Bridge!) and for those of us who work here, live here, holiday here or own here it was a spectacular and emotional evening.
Officially we reopened the beach on Wednesday 18 March with a ribbon cutting ceremony by local councillor Trevor Wainwright who paid tribute to the fantastic work by Bourne Leisure and Hopton Holiday Village. And pardon the pun…it was nice to draw a line in the sand and finally grab our bucket and spades!