SC060077 - Update of the Beach Management Manual

Theme:Sustainable Asset Management
Project status:Completed
Start date:01/06/2007
End date:05/04/2011
  • Sustainable Development,
  • coastal zone management,
  • Flood Defence,
  • conservation and ecology,
  • Climate Change,
  • engineering and construction,
  • adaptive capacity


In times of sea level rise and ever increasing demands on beaches to support flood and erosion management, protect habitats and provide pleasure to visitors, coastal practitioners need robust and 'hands on' guidance on:

- how to manage beaches for these diverse purposes;

- when to make those critical decisions about when to intervene.

Working in partnership with CIRIA, we have updated the Beach Management Manual to provide coastal managers, regulators and practitioners from local authorities, the Environment Agency and consultancies with authoritative and practical guidance on managing beaches for coastal defence purposes.

The second edition applies a risk- and performance-based approach, with the latest information on routine management/maintenance as well as guidance on larger beach management schemes. Thanks to enthusiastic contribution from many coastal practitioners, the updated manual makes good use of the case studies to illustrate popular management techniques and draws on experience with existing management approaches.

Contents of the manual

The manual covers the whole beach management cycle, describing the most commonly used beach management options and highlighting good design practice.

The manual has over 900 pages and is arranged to allow readers to 'dip in' to those sections most relevant to their interests. The aim is to make is accessible to practitioners and beach managers alike.

The manual is divided into four parts starting with introductory chapters dealing with general issues and setting the scene for the rest of the manual.

- Part 1: Introduction provides some background to beach management, outlines how to set appropriate objectives, describes beach morphology and processes, and explains how to use wind, wave and tide data for beach management.

- Part 2: Monitoring and performance of beaches describes how to design a monitoring programme, relevant data sources, practical monitoring methods, and how to assess current and future performance.

- Part 3: Decision framework for beach management details how to undertake routine management and maintenance, incident management and emergency response. It provides guidance on safety issues, amenity considerations and the development of beach management plans. It also explains environmental considerations, sustainability issues, relevant legislation and consents.

- Part 4: Technical appraisal methods sets out methods for comparing technical solutions for beach management. It covers beach recharge, beach control structures, adaptive management in a changing climate and implementation issues.

How can I obtain a copy of the manual?

An electric copy of the manual (CIRIA C685) is freely available from CIRIA's website (registration required).

The manual is also available for sale from the CIRIA bookshop as a book or CD-ROM.