Managed Retreat

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Anglia (2013) by Claire White

My work on bioregional thinking for the Atlantic Archipelago began with Managed Retreat a magazine considering the English orient which includes work relating to the Dengie. You can read Issue 1 below:

A limited number of printed copies of the newspaper format edition are still available for £5 each. If you would like one please use: https://www.paypal.me/JPTaylor/5

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Desk Research: Two Horseshoes

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When it comes to catastrophic flooding in Essex 1953 tends to get all the coverage, but the inundation of 1897 was equally noteworthy – after breaches in the sea walls 30-35,000 acres of farmland were underwater. Eventually most of that land was re-claimed, but a stretch of the north bank of the Crouch, near North Fambridge, still reveals an area that was lost. Known locally as the horseshoes (not to be confused with the Three Horsehoes on Burnham Road) these artificial bays reflect the fall back defensive line that eventually became the de facto border between land and water when the original sea wall could not be rebuilt with the labour and resources available, The Google aerial view reveals something of the lost wall  and lines of wooden stakes are visible at low tide marking where it would have been. Continue reading “Desk Research: Two Horseshoes”

Desk Research: Dengie Woodland

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Illustration by Matthew Ayres from A Popular History of the Dengie Hundred

Mixed-bag of weather today that made walking far undesirable, especially after yesterday’s puddlicious Southend trip. Burnham’s little library has a small local history/topography collection with enough in it to hold one’s attention quite a while – including a copy of the book of the great Chapman/André 1777 map of Essex.

Another map has captured my imagination more recently however, the one above taken from A Popular History of the Dengie Hundred by M.J. Ayres, R.J. Blaney & T.J. Wood. This map is a highly speculative rendering of how the Dengie might have looked in a period for which we have no good contemporary rendering. I’m attracted by the suggestion of woodland on the higher ground, as it gives some impression of what might have been lost locally (only 2% of Essex is covered by ancient, semi-natural woodland, Essex is the second least wooded county in England – and Maldon district has only 3% woodland cover of any kind), and because it visualizes a suggestion made by P.H. Reaney as to the etymology of the name Dengie itself: Continue reading “Desk Research: Dengie Woodland”

Ultra Dengie: Southend-on-Sea

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A trip out to meet Graham Burnett at home in Westcliff-on-Sea. Travelled by train BoC to Wickford on the branch, then down the mainline to Southend Victoria. A little exploration around rainbound Southend before going on to Graham’s. I made the regular pilgrimage down the High Street to look out over the Thames Estuary from Pier Hill, then returned north via Southend library. Continue reading “Ultra Dengie: Southend-on-Sea”

Beating the Bounds 3: Coastal Path at Battlesbridge

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From the cafe on the upper storey of the Antiques Centre in the old mill at Battlesbridge a view of the River Crouch. Battlesbridge is the head of the River Crouch navigation, the upper reach of the tidal zone and site of the most easterly bridge over the river. Geographically Battlesbridge sits at the south west corner of the Dengie peninsula.

On the north bank a rough track along the riverside (not a registered PROW) shortly connects with a riverside footpath (PROW 229_41) where a creek inlet meets Maltings Road by the Riverside Industrial Park. This rough track should form part of the Coastal Path. Continue reading “Beating the Bounds 3: Coastal Path at Battlesbridge”

Beating the Bounds 2: BoC to Southminster

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A circular walk between Burnham-on-Crouch and Southminster. Leaving Burnham by Wick Road travelling east, turning north on to the footpath across Burnham Wick Farm fields (PROW 242_15) and travelling on path until it meets Marsh Road by Dammer Wick farm. Passed two dog walkers using the track. Rye planted in fields. Continue reading “Beating the Bounds 2: BoC to Southminster”

Beating the Bounds 1: North Fambridge to BoC

An afternoon bracer: off the train at North Fambridge at 15.10 then south down at Fambridge Road. At the turn to The Avenue I instead took the footpath (PROW 256_10) along Blue House Farm Chase towards Blue House Farm. Instead of proceeding directly to the sea wall by the continuing public footpath (PROW 256_13) I took the permissive path east across Blue House Farm land. This initially dragged me north easterly along a raised bund, higher than the wet fields and fleets.

Screen Shot 2018-03-30 at 11.27.58 Continue reading “Beating the Bounds 1: North Fambridge to BoC”