Select Page


The commissioning of research was identified as one of SCOPAC’s key objectives when the group was formed in 1986, and is explicit in its original Terms of Reference:

Promoting, co-ordinating and undertaking research to increase understanding of the regional shoreline environment.”

Research immediately became, and continues to be a major part of SCOPAC’s activities. Between 1986 – 2018 SCOPAC has commissioned approximately £1.3 million worth of valuable research to the benefit of its members.

Current Research

SCOPAC Storm Analysis Study
Dr Matthew Wadey, Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership and Dr Ivan Haigh, University of Southampton: £25,000 contribution (2018-2020)

Langstone Harbour entrance coastal process study
Alex Hillawi, Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership: £4,000 Minor funds contribution (2018-2020)

Digitising the Poole Harbour tide gauge
Dr Ivan Haigh, University of Southampton: £4,000 Minor funds contribution (2018-2020)

Preston Tracer Study
Dave Picksley, Environment Agency and Sacha Neill, Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership: £5,000 (2018-2020)

Vegetated Shingle Study, Hurst Spit
New Forest District Council: £5,000 (2017-2018)

SurgeWatch: a user-friendly database of coastal flooding for the UK
University of Southampton: £500 contribution per year

SCOPAC Coastal Landfills Study
Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership: £70,000 (2016-2018) funded bu Southern RFCC and Wessex RFCC local levy (£67,000) + a contribution from LGA SiG (£3,000)

Scanning of historical aerial photography
Environment Agency: £13,000 (2015-2017)

Reducing regional flood and erosion risk from wave action on the Channel Coast
Channel Coastal Observatory and HR Wallingford: FDGiA £250,000 (2024-2017)

Maintenance of coastal structures – Phase 1: Timber groynes


Completed Research 2001-present day

Beach response in front of structures in open coast
Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership: £4,000 Minor funds contribution (2015-2017)

Poole Bay Nearshore Replenishment Trial 2015-16
Poole Borough Council: £15,000 contribution (2014-2017)

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study 2012 Update
Channel Coast Observatory: FDGiA £150,000 with contributions from SCOPAC (2014-2017)

Offshore to onshore transport across distinct landforms at Church Norton Spit
University of Sussex (lead): £4,000 Minor funds contribution (2015-2016)

Coastal sediment pathway budget project: Offshore sediment transport pathways in Poole and Christchurch Bays
University of Southampton: £4,000 Minor funds contribution (2013-2016)

Seabed Mapping project, Selsey to Eastoke
Channel Coast Observatory: up to £4,000 Minor funds contribution (2013-2015)

SCOPAC Sediment Stores & Sinks Study
Channel Coast Observatory: £25,000 (2011-2014)

Non-standard Rock Groynes in Poole and Christchurch Bays
SCOPAC: £4,000 Minor funds contribution (2011-2013)

Sediment Tracer Studies Phase II, East Solent
East Solent Coastal Partnership: £4,000 Minor funds contribution (2011-2013)

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Bibliographic Database 2012
Channel Coast Observatory, David Carter and the University of Portsmouth

ACCESS Project 2011
Channel Coast Observatory: £26,000. Halcrow: £20,500. Coastal and Geotechnical Services: £14,000. Management/Printing: £5,725. Contingencies: £3,000

Sediment Tracer Studies Phase I, East Solent
Havant, Portsmouth & Gosport Coastal Partnership: £1,500 Minor funds contribution (2010-2011)

Extreme Wave Conditions within the SCOPAC region
Professor A Bradbury: £18,000 (2008-2010)

RESPONSE European Project
Contribution (2006-2009)

Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes
Channel Coast Observatory: contribution (2002-present day)

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study 2004 

Preparing for the impacts of Climate Change
Halcrow Marine, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, University of Portsmouth and the UK Meteorological Office (2001)


Utilisation of data to understand coastal processes

SCOPAC awards a contribution of £1,000 towards research projects which use Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme data. This initiative demonstrates the value of ongoing capture and use of freely available datasets from the Monitoring Programmes. The South-east Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme was the first region to be set up in 2002 with the South-west Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme following in 2006. Both are now providing datasets which reveal invaluable insight into decadal changes in coastal processes.

Utilisation of RCMP data awards since 2015

Sandown Bay Coastal Process Study (2019)
Prepared by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council
Details at

Cakeham Coastal Process Study (2015)
Prepared by the Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership on behalf of Cakeham Manor Estate
Details at


Bradbury’s Bursary

In honour of Professor Andrew Bradbury’s contribution to coastal engineering across the SCOPAC region, a £500 bursary will be awarded annually to a University of Southampton “Engineering in the Coastal Environment” student.

Professor Bradbury was keen to develop those new to the industry and taught on the master’s course. Those students wishing to apply for the bursary will be expected to undertake research of benefit to SCOPAC, on the coastline between Lyme Regis, Dorset and Shoreham-by-sea, West Sussex. A list of potential thesis topics will be published, although research ideas from students are welcome and will be assessed on whether at least one of the following criteria is met. Does the project:

  • Have a wider benefit to SCOPAC practitioners?
  • Develop a scientific tool that assists coastal decision making?
  • Advance the understanding of coastal processes?
  • Relate to coastal engineering or coastal management?
  • Assist in developing best practice?

Any University of Southampton ECE student interested in applying for the bursary should produce a 300 word summary of why they should be considered for the bursary and what the project will deliver for SCOPAC.

  • For more information on Bradbury’s Bursary please contact Dr Ivan Haigh, email:

Bradbury's Bursary awards since 2016

2017: Emma Harris
Investigating the recent morphological evolution of Pagham Harbour entrance and the cause of the breach to Church Norton spit in winter 2016
Details at 

2016: Lauren Burt
Migration of Gravel Barriers over a Consolidating Substrate: Implications for Coastal Management
Details at 


Research projects for future consideration

  • Design Guidance for Mixed Sand and Shingle Beaches
  • Bibliographic database revisions
  • Digitisation of historical tidal records
  • Performance of schemes and affordability
  • Consultation on schemes
  • Managed realignment
  • Role of compensation
  • Future of coast protection
  • Soft cliffs
  • Social justice issues