An unmissable feature, visible on Brancaster beach at low tide, is the wreck of the SS Vina.
Built in 1894, the Vina carried crago from England’s east coast to the Baltic States.
In 1940 the ship was requisitioned by the navy, filled with concrete and wired with explosives. It was then towed into position to protect Great Yarmouth harbour. In the event of an invasion the ship would be detonated and the harbour blocked.
It was not needed for that purpose but in 1943 it was towed to Brancaster and anchored off-shore. It was used by the RAF for target practice during the period leading up to the Normandy landing.
A strong north-west gale caused the vessel to drag anchor and, riddled with holes from the gunfire, it drifted on to a sandbank and became stranded.
In the years since World War II various salvage attempts have been made, including carving the ship into three parts. But efforts have been unsuccessful. The wreck continues to present a serious hazard to shipping and also to adventurous visitors tempted to take a closer look.
There is a distinctive atmosphere about Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve: an almost reverential hush punctuated by the evocative call of the curlew. There is even, with the isolated exception, an absence of mobile phones! Voices are mezzo piano rather than forte. Movements are unrushed and controlled to avoid disruption or distraction. There is a tacit acknowledgement that we are in the birds’ domain and it is a privilege to be admitted.
Regrettably, the quality of the photos is not good. They were taken on a grey day with a handheld compact camera and most of the birds were at least 100 yards away. But I hope they convey something of the sense of place.
Titchwell Marsh (adjacent to Thornham marshes) is a 420 acres Royal Society for the Protection of Birds nature and bird reserve. It is an area of salt marshes and freshwater lagoons and is the home to thousands of birds as well as being a stopping off point for migrating varieties.
Filed under Abstract photos, Colour, Garden, grasses, harmony, Nature, Pattern, photography, rhythm, shapes, Uncategorized
The exposure of these tree stumps at low tide in the Thornham Saltmarshes seems, in some way, symbolic of the amazing discovery in 1998 at neighbouring Holme-next-the-Sea. This coastal strtch is susceptible to strong currents, tidal surges and shifting sands. A combination of these factors led, in November 1998, to the discovery of a previously submerged ‘tree circle’ a henge similar in its formation to Stonehenge. It was clearly of Bronze Age origin, and experts were subsequently able to confidently date its construction to 2049BC. The circle comprised 56 posts and at its centre was the upturned root of an oak tree.
A BBC news item on the ‘find’ is available on http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/388988.stm.
Thornham Harbour, North Norfolk (see https://lagill6.wordpress.com/2017/10/21/thornham-harbour/ ) is located on a narrow strip of coast designated both as an Area of Natural Beauty and as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The reed beds, salt marshes, freshwater lagoons and beaches provide important habitats for wildlife.
Click on an image to enlarge
Once an active small harbour, Thornham Harbour, North Norfolk, has become a mooring at the end of a muddy creek. From the harbour to the sea is a 20 minute walk across salt marshes at low tide, although with spring tides, there is extensive flooding. In addition to its legitimate trading purposes, in the eighteenth century the harbour became notorious for its smuggling activities – wool, tea, tobacco, alcohol etc.
(See also https://lagill6.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/left-high-and-dry/ )
Perhaps an appropriate image on the eve of Guy Fawkes Night!