Several severe winter storms and the tidal surge that hit the East Coast of the UK in December 2013 caused significant damage to many stretches of coastline, towns and villages, and the clean-up operation is still underway in many of those places.
On Orford Ness, there was severe damage caused to embankments and the drainage infrastructure. The stormy weather, high winds and the sea whipped up by the wild conditions also badly damaged two structures close to the beach.
The 19th century Coastguard Lookout, which closed in 1957, was already in a poor condition and an annexe accommodation building was destroyed, with the remainder of the main structure further de-stabilised.
Further along the beach, a wooden, lattice structured tower, known as the Police Tower as it was part of a security perimeter around the Atomic Weapons testing facility, was undermined, further damaged and left tilted at a rather rakish angle as a result of several metres of shingle beach being washed away.
More than sixty years of the rigours imposed by the very saline environment has not helped the structures either.
The two structures sat at each corner of a section of the main visitor route on the Ness, so, with safety in mind, we decided it was sensible to close this section until the buildings could be made safe and secure.
That work has now been completed and the route has been re-opened, so once again visitors can enjoy the full experience of Orford Ness and walk to and along the beach on their way around the visitor route.
As well as structural surveys, some fencing and clearance work was also carried out.
However, as you might imagine on a former weapons testing site, things are rarely simple and as the work sites were adjacent to the main bombing ranges, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit had to be called in to make sure the site was free from explosives before even a single fence post could be driven in.
Luckily, and unusually for the Ness, nothing was discovered!