The North Sea has been devouring the fields, roads and even villages of the East Yorkshire coast for hundreds of years and its inexorable advance has become a fact of life for seaside residents.

Over the next century more than 200 homes are predicted to disappear over the cliff edges between Flamborough Head, near Bridlington, and Spurn Point, 45 miles further south.

People living in the Skipsea area are expecting around 20 homes in their village alone to disappear in the next few years.

They have had to get used to an ever-changing cliff-top landscape littered with abruptly ending roads, doomed buildings and the half-remnants of once-loved gardens.

The policy on the East Yorkshire coast has been to concentrate sea-defence funding on "hard-points" - larger communities, like Withernsea, and strategic facilities, like the Easington gas terminal.

Given the huge cost of such defences, the most cost-effective solution for the rest of the seafront has been to let the inevitable happen.

The coastline has moved around 12 miles in the last 10,000 years and currently retreats at an average of about 1.5 to 2 yards a year.

This varies from location to location, though, and yearly losses of 20 yards in some places are not unknown.

Around 30 villages have completely disappeared into the North Sea since Roman times including places like Hyde, Withow and Cleeton which are now under the waves more than a mile off Skipsea.

Environment Agency information uncovered by The Guardian last year suggested 7,000 homes would disappear due to coastal erosion in England and Wales over the next 100 years.

The Government has said it will have spent more than £3.2bn over the course of this Parliament on flood management and protection from coastal erosion, and says this has led to better protection for an additional 15,000 houses.