CONCERNS are being raised about escalating erosion at Northam Burrows.Following the high tides and gale force winds earlier this month Torridge District Council representatives have visited the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are concerned about the decreasing natural defences and continuing erosion of the country park. The council said this week that it is working with Devon County Council and other agencies to protect the area.Councillor Andrew Eastman of Appledore, who is lead member for Northam Burrows, said: "I am deeply concerned about the erosion of the sand dunes and pebble ridge, which in turn presents a serious threat to the flooding of the Burrows and, consequently, the old refuse tip. "We are aware of some noxious substances tipped at this site and the rising water levels and lack of suitable drainage have increased the possibility of uncovering some of these substances. "Torridge District Council is endeavouring to prevent any such problem arising and is seeking to avoid any serious threat of the sea winning back the burrows."Shawn Corin, the Northam Burrows and beach manager, is aware of the rising water levels at the site of the old tip and has been monitoring the situation since the high tides. The worry now is that water pooling at the site is not draining away and is softening the land at the old tip, which could pose a problem for the future integrity of the site.There is also concern that horses and sheep grazing in the area could be cut off from certain areas of the park.A significant section of the pebble ridge that protects the Burrows from the sea has been compromised and the opportunity for future tides to further erode and encroach on the coastline is said to be "considerable."Ray Webster, the council's head of environment and public protection, said: "We are in discussions with Devon County Council about removing any blockage in the culvert at the old tip and we are hoping that the water levels can be reduced as soon as possible, therefore minimising any risk. "We are endeavouring to work with Devon County Council and Natural England to undertake preventative measures prior to the next round of spring tides in May. "Torridge District Council is actively monitoring the area and will report any significant changes in the landscape.