Sunday 22 March 2015

Proper Essex, This Is

Tucked  away on the southern bank of the wide expanse of the Stour estuary, Wrabness is a place that you'll love if you like hiking, biking, fishing and stuff like messing about on the river. If you want "entertainment", you'll hate it, because "there's nuffink to do". I love it.
Wood anemones in Wrabness wood in April

An amazing sight, made more so because it lasts only briefly

Brits on the beach 
It's a place that's nicely unspoilt. If you're on the beach and you want an ice cream, you've got a mile walk to the village shop. Oh, and when you get there it'll be shut.

At the bottom of Shore Farm lane there's a, I was going to say, "caravan park", but that really mis describes it. It's a green with a handful of old mobile homes, most of which have seen better days. No "facilities" as such. Just a lovely peaceful place to have a barby, laze about and it's just a stone's throw from the beach. That'll do for me.

I love this photo doesn't get better than that
Looking towards Manningtree at sunset in August

"Late after Lammas and summer in trouble"

Sunday 27 October 2013

A Strange Land

On the extreme southern tip of the Tendring Peninsula there lies a strange land that does not fit the lazy stereotype of an Essex inhabited by Brentwood air heads and dodgy geezers.

Drive through the old village of St Osyth and along lanes surrounded by windswept flat fields for three miles and you come to a large, often busy, caravan park at Seawick. Here, in season, you'll see Londoners and people from industrial South Essex holidaying in this somewhat remote location.

  What more could you want ?

East of Seawick is infamous Jaywick, allegedly one of the most deprived areas in the country, but walk west along the battered, boulder strewn coastline and after a mile or so you'll be in a desolate area of sand dunes and beach, where detritus from years of storms and floods litters the otherwise wild land.

This part of the coastline is designated as a "Naturist Beach". Well, it may have originally been used by naturists, but now, in the warmer months at least, it is used by what the local anglers refer to as "The Beach Gentlemen" and if you are unfortunate, you may catch sight of them, suddenly appearing from behind a grassy tussock on the dunes like startled meerkats, in all their naked glory.

However, once the temperatures drop in autumn, the only humans you're likely to see are anglers and the occasional walker. When fishing at night here, with the nearest buildings being a couple of miles away, it really feels like a remote place. The only sounds are the incessant, rhythmic roar of the relentless sea and the calls of waders and wildfowl.
Walk on another mile and you're at the Colne Point nature reserve, run by Essex Wildlfe Trust, a treacherous expanse of sandbanks and gullies, where the tide rips in and out of the Colne estuary at impressive speed.
Just behind the beach, separated by a small creek is the hamlet of Lee Over Sands, where wooden buildings  are scattered along the pot holed road. The road is in such a bad condition that you would be most unwise to attempt to drive here from St Osyth, without a four wheel drive vehicle (unless you're in somebody else's car).
This is the land of the Essex Hillbilly and there's something I like about it, though I can't tell you what.
See, if you look for them, you'll find wild places. Even in Essex.

Monday 25 February 2013

February on the Colne

Making the most of one of the few sunny days recently........

Alresford Creek

The Hythe. In the process of being tidied up/gentrified/having it's soul ripped out (delete as you see fit), but still a few interesting bits remain.

Sunday 3 February 2013



     Lee Over Sands

     Alresford Creek

Harwich and Dovercourt

Thorrington Creek, Colne Estuary

Thorrington Tide Mill

Looking back across the reeds to Thorrington Tide Mill, which dates back to 1831, although a mill of some type has stood here since the 11th Century. If you don't know it's there you'd never stumble across it.