Paul being a goose

SALTMARSH 75 - 7th & 8th October 2017

DAY ONE - 38 MILES

SOUTH WOODHAM FERRERS TO NORTH FAMBRIDGE
6.1 MILES

The trail starts on the seawall near Creekview Road, South Woodham Ferrers, and follows the River Crouch to North Fambridge. You will pass Blue House Farm nature reserve, a 605 acre (2.45 km²) Site of Specific Scientific Interest and Special Protection Area. It is managed by Essex Wildlife Trust and is also a working farm. You will also pass the five hundred year old Ferry Boat Inn.

NORTH FAMBRIDGE TO BURNHAM ON CROUCH
7.9 MILES

This section offers expansive views of the River Crouch from the heady heights of the 'Burnham Cliffs' and takes you past Bridgemarsh Island and the peaceful, undisturbed settlement of Creeksea, said by some sources to be the site where King Cnut tried to push back the waves. You'll pass the Grade II listed Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, designed by Joseph Emberton in 1932.

BURNHAM ON CROUCH TO OTHONA COMMUNITY BRADWELL
13.3 MILES

The big one! This stretch is as hostile and remote as it is unique and noteworthy. Towards the north eastern tip of the Dengie Peninsula, is the Grade I listed St. Peter's Chapel, the oldest intact Christian chapel in England, which dates back to 654AD. The chapel overlooks an old World War II fighter plane training area, and the remains of artillery and aircraft paraphernalia can be seen at low tide.

Aerial view of Bradwell

OTHONA COMMUNITY TO BRADWELL WATERSIDE
3.25 MILES

A contrast of energies, as you pass Bradwell's new windfarm, as well as one of Britain's original nuclear power stations (now closed). Following a shingle beach for two miles, you arrive at Bradwell Marina, which is well known for its charter fishing.

BRADWELL WATERSIDE TO ST. LAWRENCE
4.3 MILES

Another peaceful section with views of the Blackwater's sandbanks and hundreds of wading birds at low tide. This leg finishes in the waterside village of St. Lawrence, well known for its watersports, including boating, jet skiing and much more.

ST. LAWRENCE TO
STEEPLE
3.25 MILES

The final leg of Day 1 and among the most picturesque. Osea Island, a remote holiday island accessible only by causeway and helicopter, soon comes into view, providing the perfect backdrop for a home run to the Star public house in Steeple.

DAY TWO - 36 MILES

STEEPLE TO MAYLANDSEA
4.1 MILES

A short and picturesque section gets Day 2 off to a gentle start, passing Osea Island. The inter-tidal saltmarsh and mud flats provide a habitat for Brent geese, grey plovers, dunlin and black-tailed godwits. The island was once the refuge of Amy Winehouse and several television programs have been filmed on the island. It was also the site of a coastal motor torpedo boat base during World War I. Two thousand sailors were billeted there, mainly in temporary huts, which were removed after the war.

MAYLANDSEA TO MALDON
7.8 MILES

Arguably the jewel in the crown of the Saltmarsh75. Leaving the gentle surroundings of Lawling Creek, the Blackwater meanders towards National Trust Reserve Northey Island, which is the site of the Battle of Maldon 991AD. The battle is marked by a statue of fallen Saxon leader Brythnoth, and heralds competitors' arrival into Maldon's famous Promenade Park, and then the historical Hythe Quay. The quay is home to the largest active fleet of Thames Sailing Barges and is steeped in nautical nostalgia.

MALDON TO HEYBRIDGE BASIN
4.9 MILES

Heybridge Basin is the point at which the Chelmer and Blackwater rivers and Navigation Canal merge into the Blackwater Estuary. The two rivers are joined by a lock which is reguarly used by pleasure boats, and on shore there is a cafe called The Lock Tearoom, which is operated by the world renowned Wilkin and Sons of Tiptree jam makers. The Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation was designed by the famous canal architect John Rennie in 1793 and completed in 1797, with the last working traffic using the navigation in the early 1970's.
Heybridge Basin

HEYBRIDGE BASIN TO GOLDHANGER CREEK
2.1 MILES

Offering views of the north side of Osea Island and Northey Island, this section is one of the most peaceful sections of the route. Northey Island nature reserve is a Site of Special Scienific Interest and Grade I site for saltmarsh flora and wintering birds, with up to 5000 Brent geese migrating here every year. From here, sprawling views of the Blackwater Estuary can be seen once again by competitors.

GOLDHANGER CREEK TO
TOLLESBURY
9.5 MILES

After following the Blackwater for another two miles, the path tucks into Woodrolfe Creek and heads towards Tollesbury, the 'village of the plough and sail'. The Goldhanger coast is also known as Smugglers' Coast, and the village had to employ its own coastguard as a result of smugglers bringing their good up the creek. Tollesbury is famous for its oysters, as well as the historical sail lofts in the Marina.

TOLLESBURY TO SALCOTT-
CUM-VIRLEY
8.5 MILES

Saving the most serene section for last, the trail winds through two nature reserves; Essex Wildlife Trust's Tollesbury Wick and the RSPB's Old Hall Marshes. SSSI protected site Tollesbury Wick is 600 acres of rough pasture, borrowdykes, sea walls, wet flushes, pools and saltmarsh and home to a wide array of wildlife including hen and marsh harriers and short eared owls.