The most extensive damage was at our Snettisham, Havergate and Dingle nature reserves, but other reserves didn't escape the damage.
At Snettisham, the concrete access track and shingle beach have been completely stripped away. Usually, Snettisham is two gravel pits separated by a causeway footpath. Having been topped up with millions of gallons of seawater it was now one massive lake. We must get rid of the water in readiness for when the breeding birds return.
In the summer, the shingle beach is a profusion of yellows, pinks and blues from shingle plants, but now seaweed is strewn up where shingle once was, and silt mud covers the path. The flowers have been replaced with plastic barrels, bottles and rope. One hide is tottering on the edge of the lake, at 45 degrees; one has been lost altogether.
Away from Snettisham, it's not been possible to land on Havergate Island to assess the level of damage, but there are several holes in the sea walls and the hides appear damaged. At Titchwell Marsh, the seawall held firm, but the boardwalk from the reserve path to the beach is buckled and broken and benches are strewn with debris. The sand dunes have been flattened.
Insurance covers some of the costs of the damaged hides, but not the cost of repairing habitats – currently estimated at £300,000.