Facing the Storms

During October 2017 the south-west coastlines of Ireland and Wales were battered by storms Ophelia and Brian within a week of one another. CHERISH survey teams were out on the ground in the days following Storm Ophelia to assess the aftermath across study areas in County Wexford, Ireland, and Pembrokeshire, Wales. Here the benefit of our baseline monitoring from the air earlier in 2017 became apparent. Aerial photographs taken during Irish baseline surveys in late September showed the sand bar and breach at the southern end of Lady’s Island Lake before the storms. Subsequent drone aerial photos taken by the Discovery Programme on 18 October recorded changes to the sand bar, and at other points along this vulnerable coast. Such long-term monitoring will continue during the five-year project.

Lady’s Island Lake, County Wexford. Coastal sand bar photographed during baseline aerial survey on 28 September 2017 (left) and with a drone following Storm Ophelia on 18 October 2017. Changes in the sand bar are immediately apparent.Lady’s Island Lake, County Wexford. Coastal sand bar photographed during baseline aerial survey on 28 September 2017 (left) and with a drone following Storm Ophelia on 18 October 2017. Changes in the sand bar are immediately apparent