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Erosion of the cliffs at Hope Gap, South Downs, East Sussex

For the last 13 years regular walks on the South Downs, first with the children as they grew up – in better weather, and since with the dog in all weathers, I’ve taken photographs of the same views, and the same parts of the cliff much of which has now gone with the greatest collapses in the last 18 months.

Fig.1 The path and steps down to the beach at Hope Gap. 13th January 2015

Fig.2. Erosion at Hope Gap. 13th January 2015

Fig.3. Erosion between Hope Gap and the mouth of the River Cuckmere, East Sussex. 9th March 2014

Fig.4. Erosion of the cliffs at Hope Gap. 9th March 2014

Loess blown here by Arctic winds during the Ice Ages. Water passing through becomes acid. This trickles into joints in the chalk, widening them to form solution pipes.

Fig.5 Solution pipe at Hope Gap

Fig. 6. Cliff erosion and collapse by the Lifeguard Cottages, Cuckmere.

Fig.7. Signage explaining the geology of the coast at Hope Gap and Cuckmere showing the ‘Seven Sisters’ beyond

Fig.8. The Seven Sisters from Hope Gap looking towards Beachy Head, 13th January 2015

For years not much happened. 2000-2007 was benign. Regular trips to the beach to picnic and swim and the summer found on on the same platforms and rocks. Over the last two years the severity of the weather, the amount and intensity of the rain and the enduring strength of the wind from the south west has seen considerable cliff collapse: loess washed out from the top of the cliffs, as well as catastrophic breaks in the cliff itself leading to falls of boulders and rocks.

Walkers will see how the signs warning of the cliff edge have been moved further inland by several meters, while the wooden fence at the top of the concrete steps at Hope Gape have fallen into the sea. The Environment Agency has already already sections of seawall protection (concrete and netted boulders) succumb to the sea and in due course the steps will go to, eventually to be replaced once some stability can be seen in the cliff further back.

I want my ashes scattered here. Where my wife asked. What if it’s windy. I said down a rabbit hole would be fine. That or in the brambles, or into the sea at low tide.


How would you define the professional in e-learning?

eLP Venn Diagram


This looks good on a flip chart, I even took photos of it.

I wish it were more dynamic, on the paper version the reverse side of each category has a set of industry related quotes.

How would you jiggle these terms around?

How do I create a classic Venn Diagram with a piece of software?

Is there the means to play with diagrams like this collaboratively in a wiki or Google Docs?

I’ll produce a reverse image of this with the references.

I also realise that I have about thirty items that would appear where professional, ‘e-‘ and ‘learning’ cross. Sometimes a handwritten essay with a hand-drawn diagram is so much easier to produce and correct 😦

How about handwritten essay produced with a stylus on a Wacom board?

Spent the morning walking along Cuckmere River to the Channel where it became remarkably mild in the sun. Chewing over reasons why efforts to raise finances to produce high-end, TV docu-drama programmes linked to interactive ‘edutainment’ never got off the ground in 2001, despite fullsome praise from the likes of a founding director of Cisco (John Cage) at NABS where he had the keynote speech and we were presenting.


We wanted to wow viewers and spend a great deal and thought there was a way for this to make money. The broadcasters, stalwart supporters of Atlantic Productions with whom were were developing product, were at this very time pulling away from the websites as pits of financial loss. Commercialisation is everything.

It is therefore timely that there was an hour long discussion this morning on the rise of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the ‘Innovations Lab.’ I was in one once myself, the BT Think Tank. If anyone will have me I’ll join a new think tank, if not, I’ll form my own.

Cost still matters a great deal:

  • How to radically cut costs by going down the e-learning route (pure online and blended).
  • How to make money creating learning for a global market.

This is how to educate 50% of UK school-leavers. They leave school, but they don’t leave home. They take their degree through the OU or some similar while working.

A new generation with a new set of concerns and motivations.

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