High tide

I first wrote about the Cardiff coast ten years ago, with a follow up piece a year later. In the process, I endowed a part of Cardiff with a semi-ironic name in the jocular vein of ‘Sunny Skegness’, ‘Swiss Navy’ or ‘Croydon Facelift’: Splott Beach. Hitherto it had been an unmentionable non-place nobody previously had bothered to name, referred to merely as a generic ‘foreshore’ and then only by the few anglers who ever went there. To my surprise, the off-the-cuff coinage has become so widely embraced and accepted (except by Cardiff Council and Associated British Ports) that it can’t be long before ‘Splott Beach’ starts appearing on maps.

My motive was to draw attention to the shocking environmental catastrophe and thereby trigger interest in the issue and try to prompt change. But apart from there being far more people who are now aware of the scandalous state of Cardiff’s coast, nothing has changed ten years later. In fact, it has got much worse.

Yesterday, eager to experience the Severn Sea being whipped up by the promised ferocity of ‘Storm Evert’, I took a trip down to Splott Beach. I timed the visit to tally with the high tide at midday, the better to see giant waves surging across the debris and crashing against the crumbling man-made cliffs. How silly of me to fall for the attention-seeking hype of what is now probably called the ‘weather-forecast industry’: the Severn was as flat calm as a mill-pond in what was little more than a breezy north-westerly. Oh well, I did take some photos…

The Gut was full
Sea-walls are being rapidly eroded

What nature can do when undisturbed
Penarth in the distance
I know a place…
Westward Ho!
The salty tang of nuclear mud and raw sewage
Re-wild the East Moors or Cardiff drowns
Tide at its 11m zenith on 30/7/21 (range is between 9m and 12m)
Access is made as difficult as possible

Pictures: Dic Mortimer