Norfolk

Hunstanton man resumes work on hand-built flood defence destroyed by surge

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Media captionMichael Kennedy was given a helping hand by Countryfile's Ellie Harrison

A man has resumed shoring up a cliff after seeing 20 years of previous work washed away in a tidal surge.

Michael Kennedy, 76, had built a 10ft (3m) wall by moving rocks and stones from the beach to the cliff at Hunstanton, Norfolk.

The December tidal surge destroyed his wall, which he had worked on for two hours a day, six days a week.

He is rebuilding it and said he would continue until he was 100, although he "might cut down" his hours.

Image copyright Charles Rangeley-Wilson
Image caption Michael Kennedy separated the white and red stones when building the defence

"I wasn't getting enough exercise so I started lifting the rocks and throwing them against the cliff base, and now I can't stop," said Mr Kennedy, a former London Underground worker.

He shifts the rocks for two hours every morning, except for Saturdays, when he prefers to watch football.

"It gives my fingers a rest," he said.

His rock wall was about 100ft (30m) long.

'My personal gymnasium'

When the North Sea tidal surge washed away and buried his work, he started all over again.

"I'm doing it to protect the base of the cliff, which is made of carstone and is quite weak," Mr Kennedy said.

"When high tide comes in, the water bashes against the stones and rocks instead, and that protects it."

Image caption Mr Kennedy said the rocks and stones protected the delicate carstone at the cliff base

Mr Kennedy referred to his hobby as "my personal gymnasium" and said people often commented on his wall.

"They say, 'Michael, you're doing a fantastic job', and that gives me great satisfaction.

"I'm 77 in June and when I'm 100, instead of doing six days, I'll probably just do four days," he added.

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