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Friday, 15 October 2010

Walk 7 Elmley Marshes to Dutchman’s Island and back (Isle of Sheppey)

Walk 7  Elmley Marshes to Dutchman’s Island and back (Isle of Sheppey)

Map: L/R 178
Distance:  About 7 miles return.
Difficulty: easy – flat - can be windy along The Swale
Terrain: easy but can be muddy, earth/grassed paths
Access: Car can be parked in dedicated car park on Elmley Marshes.
Public transport: Difficult. Maybe a route from Swale Station otherwise taxi from Queenborough Station. 

This is a pleasant enough walk although you will see the water only occasionally, you are not allowed to stand or go over most of the sea wall – this is a RSPB reserve and they fear that the wildlife could be frightened. Lots of sheep congregate on the path and stare at you like bouncers at a night club then run away like chickens when you approach. This is the largest area of coastal grazing in south east England.

There are ‘hides’ along the path including one near Spitend Point. I was the subject of some angry mutterings when I decided to photograph the view from in there. The flash went off and caused large flocks of birds to rush into the sky!

The coast north of Sittingbourne can be seen on most days. To the east is Dutchman’s Island, a reference, perhaps, to the short occupation by the Dutch navy in 1667. People of Sheppey were sometimes called Swampies but many consider this an insult now!

Pictures: views across Emley Marshes and sheep 'bravely' parading on the sea wall.


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