The Geography Department


The Bawdsey Flags   

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!


June 28 2005  Shingle Street

July 30 2005   Shingle Street


Flags site

Ian Murray's photos


Expedition to cut weeds    June 21 2005




The four red flags enveloped on all sides by voracious vegetation ... and the results of  using the hook for ten minutes! I did cut some more before leaving, but not nearly enough to expose the base of the flags to the camera. The Martello Tower now has a smart new drive!

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The yellow flags are still intact, numbering seven. Beyond them, however, the cliff path has retreated to the shadow of the growing barley.

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Even when the crumbling cliff is not obviously letting go ... subtle cracks all along the pathway indicate the next fall.

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The coast path along the edge of the field is officially closed, but we see many walkers from the web cam. The barley is filling out nicely!

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Breaks of slope in the beach materials; to the left and towards the tower the indicator of the last high tide. to the right, towards Felixstowe, the steep beach (filled with clay particles) that marks a previous storm beach .. or you name it?

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Remnants of the old groyne system here, guarding its modest treasure of shingle.

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The landscape of the foreshore looks more industrial than rural in these shots; a low tide certainly points out the ungainliness of the pillbox remains, as well as the movement of its concrete surrounds. The vertical columns must be the remarkable survivors of long-gone groynes.

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The fall that has been prominent in the web photos for some days.........


The foreshore has an increasing area of clay exposed ... compared with the January web photographs .. with fine sand between the green-capped clumps.


....is not nearly as interesting as the one you cannot see! Under cover of the cliff the camera has missed the clay falling away, leaving a sand overhang, looking to all the world like an exfoliation dome in Yosemite!

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To the left is a field drain emerging in the cliff, complete with shingle trench-fill. A good deal of this has accumulated at the base of the cliff.



Just up the road, in East Lane, the hungry sandy soil is taking intense irrigation for its crop of onions.

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The snapper ....



Job done!  June 28  2005


The rape plants have been cut away



The rip rap at the Martello Tower was receiving some attention from a lively sea. Now dried out, the clay mess at the top of the slope was no longer cloying.


The orange globe, seen on the web photos of the previous few days, turn out to be more art ...  and labelled on one side 'SEA CHANGE' and 'CURRENT ISSUES' on the  other.


The position of the first globe relative to the end of the rip rap near the Martello.

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The pathway next to the barley and cliff was clearly no longer navigable, so walkers have steered inland.


SION holding out, although there are large cracks under the 'S' which occupies an overhang. The rape itself has enlarged cracks on the cliff overhang.


Looking down from the other side of the cliff-fall. the high tide was doing its work.

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The rapid removal of fallen clay and crag stained the sea for some distance offshore and towards the south.


'CURRENT ISSUES' in a welter of spray.


The main elements of the Bawdsey scene, eroding cliffs, flags and Martello in the distance, and the new stars, the orange globes, frolicking in the surf.

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Where blocks have fallen down the cliff they have been immediately subjected, on a number of recent high tides, to destruction and removal; on the right a block containing three geologic elements, totters above the high tide.

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Some general shots of the flags, the field of growing, and now almost ripe, barley and the newly-fenced footpath to the north of the Martello Tower.

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A couple of 'arty' shots, with the less prosaic terminus of the footpath metalling in the middle!

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The modern concrete structure has artwork welded over its windows. In the foreground is surplus (so far) rip rap and the two further visible Martello Towers.


Another vie of the stone-faced footpath from East Lane, this time looking northwards towards the car park, concrete defences and the settlement of Shingle Street.


The lagoon, marsh and Martello Towers make a tranquil scene.

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