A former Halstead schoolboy-turned-global warming expert is on a one-man mission to save Essex’s coastline.

Dr Ian Willis, from Cambridge University’s geography department, is warning unprotected parts of the coastline will be lost after capturing dramatic footage of coastal erosion on his digital camera.

The former Ramsey pupil’s film showed enough earth to fill 15 waste skips falling into the sea off Mersea Island, as waves battered the coast.

He has warned the coastline will start to erode more rapidly in the coming years unless action is taken to protect it.

Dr Willis, whose parents Geoff and Jean still live in Portway Court, Halstead, now works at Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute, where he researches melting glaciers and ice sheets and how this affects the rise in sea levels.

He believes by 2100, sea levels could be anywhere between 10ins and 3ft 9ins than they are now.