Built in the 1850s on a low-lying saltmarsh, Fairbourne already lies beneath sea level at high spring tide. During storms, the tidal level is more than 1.5 meters (5 feet) above the level of the village.
Like many others who came to Fairbourne, Stuart Eves decided the coastal village in northern Wales would be home for life when he moved here 26 years ago. He fell in love with the peaceful, slow pace of small village life in this community of about 700 residents, nestled between the rugged mountains and the Irish Sea, AP reports.
“I wanted somewhere my children can have the same upbringing as I had, so they can run free,” said Eves, 72, who built a caravan park in the village that he still runs with his son. “You’ve got the sea, you’ve got the mountains. It’s just a stunning place to live.”
That changed suddenly in 2014, when authorities identified Fairbourne as the first coastal community in the U.K. to be at high risk of flooding due to climate change.
Predicting faster sea level rises and more frequent and extreme storms due to global warming, the government said it could only afford to keep defending the village for another 40 years. Officials said that by 2054, it would no longer be safe or sustainable to live in Fairbourne.
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