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The Geography Department

 

The Bawdsey Flags    March 9 2005

 

March 9 2005  First contact

May 14  2005  Site meeting

May 31  2005  Update

 

June 21 2005  Expedition to cut weeds

June 28 2005  Job Done!

 

July 30 2005   - two flags gone and another going!

 

March 2006 update

July 2006 update

 

September 2006 update

 

February 2007 - a new beach!

September 2007 update

 

June 28 2005  Shingle Street

July 30 2005   Shingle Street

 

Flags site

 

Ian Murray's photos

 

Location : East Lane, Bawdsey

 

 

The  seaward end if East Lane from atop the old gun battery, looking back towards the village.

 

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey

Get-a-map service.

Image reproduced with kind permission of

Ordnance Survey

and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

 

A pile of rip-rap awaits use  next to the car park in East Lane.

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From the gun emplacement the Martello tower can be seen to the south - across an eroding embayment.

 

From East Lane a private road leads to the houses. Here is a view to the north across the marshy land.

 

The coastal footpath has been diverted inland at this point, although the route is still passable through the clinging clay!

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The neighbours

 

 

 

 

A pair of conventional houses occupy the Bawdsey site, one a colourful construction faced with galvanised steel ..

 

... and painted in these striking colours.

 

 

The Martello tower was undergoing building work on my visit. The flag camera is on the right side of the tower.

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The Flags

 

 

 

 

Some general views of the flags, looking back towards the tower. The colourful house outshines the flags for colour! The pink flag on the left photo had been replaced in the falling cliff (gouge marks) by person or persons unknown.

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A colourful trio of photographs, looking back towards the Martello tower. The embayment beneath the array of flags has been actively eroded, losing its shingle beach, and the slumped material, to the sea.

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Some cliff is breaking away in the foreground.

 

These are the flags I picked up and left with the display.

 

The false flag, looking over the new bay.

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The cliff-top path has been rapidly removed, and now a diversion takes the official walker far inland for a kilometre or so.

 

A pillbox on the beach; it has been inverted during its fall down the cliff.

 

A close-up of the rotational slump.

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As Max Boyce would say 'I was there!' On the left carrying back three flags thrown up from the beach, and on the right chatting to some local walkers.

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The flags from the beach, which has a raised platform of shingle towards the south, that disappears nearer the Martello Tower. Fresh falls of the cliffs are in evidence.

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Since the web cam has been operating the beach beneath the flags has been lost; this is the remnant of that beach.

 

The clay basement is resisting erosion more effectively than the Red Crag/clay lenses above.

 

Cliff falls have been continuous and have overlain the remaining small area of shingle beach next to the flags.

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At this point, near the relict groyne, the actively-eroding cliff gives way to the shingle beach.

   

Broken beach defences extend as far as the Martello tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beach has been eroded exposing  its clay base. Quite often, certainly at Walton-on-the-Naze, this surface has not been particularly slippery ... here it is!

 

Looking to the sea, and the routes to and from Felixstowe. The swell has been from the north-east for some days.

 

The sea sweeping in over the clay at Bawdsey.

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The shingle Beach

 

   

 

Taken in the snows, from the top of the very steep upper beach towards the north.

 

A wider shot, showing the fossil cliffs and present beach system.

 

A line of concreted stanchions line the lower beach, isolated and abandoned.

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An overview of the beach profile and fossil cliffs.

 

The beach is being lowered into a consolidated shingle/sand basement. The erosion can just be seen as a small (2cm) mini cliff.

 

A similar view of beach deposits to the south.

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The beach to the south of the flags is one of shingle, piled steeply against the shore.

 

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May 14  2005

 

 

 

 

The walk from the  car park to the Martello Tower is now off-limits; the footpath is closed. However, in dry conditions it does afford good views of the recently-installed rip-rap, geotextile sheeting and clay veneer! The sea was at nearly high tide, but only one of medium height, but with a stiff north-easterly behind it!

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The view back to the north, the observation tower beyond a few pieces of rip-rap left in the holding area.

 

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Ian Murray with the overnight faller - 'D' of the word 'speed'

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Nothing to do with 'The da Vinci Code' perhaps ... but this 'Sion' is about to be dis-solved .. into the sea!

 

The yellow flag 'R' is very near the edge!

 

The footpath is being lost near the growing crops; the erosion appearing more active even than near the tower.

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The remaining lines of flags, with particular reference as to how near the cliff edge last flag in each group is!

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Two photographs taken of the shingle beach, at the point where the line of the coast taken a more southerly route. The erosion of the foreground contrasts with the generous deposits beyond, held at a sharp angle. The shingle conceals a damp and clinging clay .. tested twice!

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Ian balancing to take a photo of the foreshore, as the tide swirled around him. I, naturally, attracted the local freak wave and got wet! The pillbox pays witness to the energy of the sea that day.

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A reference shot before leaving the flags.

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Update 31 May 2005

 

 

 

 

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The Bawdsey Flags under assault. With tides up to 4 metres the erosion is almost unrelenting, and red 'S' (above right) has some cliff with cracks running down a metre!

 

Further down the stretch, the path by the side of the barley is heading for complete destruction.

 

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