Essex as a Place of Sanctuary


Yesterday I attended the ‘Essex as a Place of Sanctuary’ event at the Beecroft Gallery in Southend-on-Sea, put on by Focal Point Gallery as part of their ongoing Radical Essex project. The event was described thus: Continue reading “Essex as a Place of Sanctuary”


National Permaculture Convergence 2018

Your humble correspondent setting up with a BGS geology map and Robert Szucs’s river basin map [photo courtesy of Alan Charlton]
Ed Tyler and I delivered a workshop on Bioregional thinking at the 2018 National Permaculture Convergence, which took place in Hulme, Manchester last weekend. The session was well attended and enthusiastically received which was a relief after all the stressing out and prep I did beforehand. I didn’t manage to cover everything I wanted to include, so the slideshow linked to here Continue reading “National Permaculture Convergence 2018”

Eastern Region Permaculture Gathering

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Next weekend is the Eastern Region Permaculture Gathering in Norfolk, where I’ll be presenting a workshop on Bioregionalism. I launched Managed Retreat at the first Eastern Region Permaculture Gathering, so in many ways this will be an update on how on my thinking has developed since then. It’s also an opportunity to shine more light on this Dengie Bioregion project and the Confederation of Soviets of the Atlantic Archipelago. Continue reading “Eastern Region Permaculture Gathering”

MAD about Bees

I’m looking for the QueenBee

Last weekend Claire and I attended a beekeeping taster workshop in Ulting run by the Maldon and Dengie 100 Beekeepers. We already have a hive (bee-less) and made contact with Peter Davison, who oversees of the management of the Divisional Apiary based at the Arcadia Road Allotment Site. The taster workshop is designed to give would be beekeepers the opportunity to have some hands on experience with real live bees as well as Continue reading “MAD about Bees”

Refill Burnham & The Plastic Problem


I just attended the launch event for the ‘Refill Burnham & The Plastic Problem’ exhibition at Burnham-On-Crouch & District Museum opened today by town mayor Wendy Stamp and councillor Vanessa Bell. It’s an exhibition about both problems and solutions. Continue reading “Refill Burnham & The Plastic Problem”

A forest of raspberry canes

east Coast

As part of the research I’ve been doing into the local history of fruit production, I came across William J. Tate’s 1899 book East Coast Scenery: Rambles Through Towns and Villages; Nutting, Blackberrying, and Mushrooming; Sea Fishing, Wild-fowl Shooting etc. which was apparently illustrated by Arthur Rackham. The book is a collection of articles contributed to ‘the columns of the Civil Service Guardian in 1890-91, and the Bristol Times and Mirror in 1897-98.’ Amongst his trips about the Eastern counties Tate and an associate visit Burnham and Southminster, and in his account of the two locales he reveals Continue reading “A forest of raspberry canes”

Dengie Hundred

Map from ‘An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east’ (HMSO, 1923)

‘Has been the scene of some important events in the history of the nation, but in ages so remote that there is no written record to identify them with the locality; and in traversing the district, we find few of those ancient relics by the aid of which their memorials may be traced out. On the shores beyond Bradwell stood the city of Ithanchester, in which Cedde, the first bishop of the diocese, in 658, baptised Mary in the new faith, built a church, and endowed priests and deacons to minister in it. In a later age, the Danes took possession of the Hundred, and long made it their head-quarters or camp along the coast, from which they sent forth their expeditions and plundered the other parts of the country. It was in a manner their recognised home in their earlier struggles for the mastership of the land, as its present name implies — Dengie being derived from Danes-ig, “the Danes island.” A thousand years have passed since that time, and a great change has been wrought in the scene. Flocks graze undisturbed on the rich marshes beyond which the long narrow war-vessels were moored. The carol of the ploughman and the tinkle of the sheep- bell are heard at twilight, instead of the martial signal. The fierce chieftain has subsided into the skilful farmer. The steel that glitters in the sun is that of the sickle or the scythe ; and instead of the wild warrior returning to his den with his prey, the rich heavy wheats of Dengie are sent forth to help to feed and fatten other parts of the kingdom. This Hundred contains the following twenty-one parishes, irrespective oft he borough of Maldon which is described separately : — Woodham Walt, Woodham Mart, Hazeleigh, Purleigh, Cold Norton, Stow Maries, North Fambridge, Latchingdon, Snoreham, Mundon, Steeple, Mayland, Altborne, Cricksea, Burnham, Southminster, Asheldham, Dengie, Tillingham, St. Lawrence, Bradwell.’

A.D Bayne, Royal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical, (n.d)

Orchards East


I have just signed up as a volunteer on the Orchards East project – I will be researching the history of orchards in my local parish of Burnham-on-Crouch.

Orchards East Survey Map

I’ve been provided with an OS map of the parish marked with the locations of orchards identified on the c.1888 ordnance survey map. My first task is to survey those sites for any extant orchards or what has replaced them. I’m beginning with the site nearest to my house, which has been designated HESS1416. Continue reading “Orchards East”