COASTAL erosion on Walney Island is a ‘major concern’ to the council.

Westmorland and Furness Council cabinet member for climate, biodiversity and environmental services, councillor Giles Archibald told members of the authority the issue is of ‘considerable concern’.

In the meeting, councillor Archibald presented the council’s ‘nature and biodiversity action plan part one’ which lays out how the authority will work with communities to protect and enhance biodiversity in the area.

Councillor Therese Assouad (Walney Island, Labour) thanked those involved in preparing the action plan and told members coastal erosion is a topic ‘quite dear to my heart being a councillor on Walney Island which is suffering from that’.

Cllr Assouad added: “And that is not only going to impact human beings on West Shore Caravan Park but it is also going to very soon, possibly even in a storm in September, affect North Walney Nature Reserve where it will start to expose previous tip sites there.

“And once they’re exposed, pollutions then going to go into the sea, and it will definitely affect the biodiversity in that area.”

Westmorland and Furness Council and the Our Futures Coast previously held a number of sessions with residents and local councillors in Walney to hear concerns, thoughts and ideas related to coastal erosion at West Shore Park.

Ten years ago, the sea was far enough back from West Shore Park that a road ran between the community and the beach, giving access to the north of the island. The road was badly damaged by a storm in 2013 and has deteriorated further since then.

The council previously said a coastal process study will be undertaken using data being collected by the mobile radar station and is expected to be complete in autumn this year. This will allow the authority to understand what can or cannot be achieved to stabilise the coast.

Councillor Archibald said: “It is a matter of major concern to us as a council. There are natural solutions to this.

“But you’re absolutely right, it’s a matter of considerable concern and you can be sure that this is something that we are worried about and working with the EA (Environment Agency), the local MP and others on.

“I would just mention of course the natterjack toad which is at risk partly because of what’s happening along the coast and so you’re absolutely right to bring that up.”

The Our Future Coast project has received £200 million from the government to manage coastal flooding and erosion risks across the North West. West Shore Park in Barrow is one of 14 locations to be targeted by the Our Future Coast project.