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The Geography Department


Dunwich Walk from Dunwich Beach to Dunwich Heath and back  June 4 2006


Dunwich Heath 




Dunwich Beach 2000


Dunwich Beach 2001  taken  Sunday 13 May 2001


Dunwich Heath - the main areas of study in Spring 2002


Fieldwork in May 2002

Dunwich Beach -Wednesday and Thursday

Dunwich - tourism pressures

Dunwich - management practices


Fieldwork in May 2003

Beach photographs from Mon 20 May and Friday 23 May 2003

Photos from Mr Duncan of the tourist pressures


Fieldwork in May 2004 Sunday 16, Tuesday 25,  and Thursday 27 May


Dunwich Forest and Heath November 2004

Dunwich update April 2005


Dunwich  Beach Walk June 2006

Dunwich Heath June 2006

Dunwich cliff-top and Greyfriars



Dunwich Heath rises to the north of the RSPB Minsmere Reserve. This photo looks south over the wetlands towards Sizewell 'B' with the white dome, and 'A' nuclear power stations.


An information board at the foot of Dunwich Cliffs, giving details of the environment to the south - the beach and dunes.


The reeds of Minsmere, with the open-water cut of Docwra's Ditch  in the foreground and the rising ground of The Warren behind.

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The cliff top at the NT Dunwich Heath site. These photographs were taken beyond the warning signs from  an area that was car parking a decade ago. The cliff line here has not receded much of late and the cliffs have vegetates over their lower slopes. The left-hand photo is of a barrier across an old beach access path.

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The cliff edge is often masked by vegetation curling over, holding onto the thin heathland soils, before a short free-face leads to a debris slope and the shingle beach and its characteristic beach cusps.

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Parking areas at Dunwich has lost some of its cliff-top venues .. and views .. and is now held in place by low bunds or banks of soil. Parking is generally visually intrusive, and in the centre shot, compaction of the heath leads to surface water after heavy rain.

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The areas around the Coastguard Cottages are generally mown grass between gorse clumps, but are managed for cars and for preventing access to worn-out footpaths and the cliff-top.


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One bright idea near the Coastguard Cottages has been the conversion of an old store into a hide - the work was just finishing when I visited.

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The new concrete path at the Coastguard Cottages are a visible symbol of  the efforts to make Dunwich Heath accessible to all groups of visitors - and the bicycle 'hitching-post' is a further symbol of  this commitment.

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Some views from the roadway at the Coastguard Cottages. The two cottages next to the road are let out, hence the (semi) private garden area; opposite is the roadway to the Education Centre and the bulk of the heathland area.

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Opposite the Education Centre is a small picnic area, complete with brown plastic picnic benches!


In the same area is one of a number of sculptures.


The rear of the Education Centre also serves as a yard for the equipment needed at the heath.

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A closed off pathway is recovering, albeit with bracken leading the way!


Benching, marker posts and very wide pathway - all visitor led features.



Are area of heather with this year's bracken pushing through.


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Some views of footpaths and their clear susceptibility to erode; in all cases the path is several inches below the surrounding heathland, lacking even intermittent vegetation cover. Should they be surfaced, rather than being continually diverted and invading yet more ground cover?

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'Basket of eggs' topography - in this case ungrazed heather, needing a mow!


The triangulation pillar, towards the NT's northern border, is now threatened by the sea and paths leading to it have been blocked off.


Close by the triangulation pillar succession is getting under way with tree cover emerging from the gorse. Should these invaders be managed to preserve an artificial heather heathland?

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Brushwood is used to block off paths that need time to recover from over-use and consequent erosion.


Marker posts indicate entry to a pathway at the property's entrance.










Fieldwork  2005