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A Unique Coastal Attraction

Coastal Erosion and Retreat at Blackgang

Blackgang Chine (the wider geographical area where Blackgang Chine Theme Park is located) is losing an average of 3.5 metres of land into the sea per year! Thankfully, this isn’t a gradual process. Instead it tends to disappear in big chunks after periods of heavy rain, with the last big landslide taking place in 1994, and, before that, in 1961 and 1928.

From Project Gutenberg’s Pictures in Colour of the Isle of Wight, by Various, Printed London Jarrold and Sons c. 1910.

This means that the Chine is never the same two years running! This high level of erosion of the undercliff means that large parts of the original theme park, along with lots of houses from the village of Blackgang, have been lost to the sea for ever. In total, around 350 metres of cliffs some 130m high have eroded through various means, particularly landslides, over the history of the park.

Today, there are various signed points throughout the theme park where you can view the landslips and slides. The maintenance staff at the park regularly have to re-site attractions when they get too close to the edge – and some have even been lost completely!

Main image – Debnigo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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