The final panels are finished! Have a look at the artwork below.

Interpretation panel to go in the phone box listening post.

Sorry for the delay since the last blog update but it’s been all go with the project. On January 26th CoastNet headed to Fingringhoe Primary School with Essex Wildlife Trust to design the classroom with Class 2. After a tour of the site to see the area we would be working in we headed back to the classroom to put some ideas to paper. The children were overflowing with ideas and pretty quickly we had more ideas than could possibly fit in the space we had. Here’s a run down of the highlights:

  • Money tree (to help those in Haiti)
  • Log circle
  • Clay oven
  • Fruit bushes and trees
  • Pond dipping platform
  • Mini beast hotel
  • Compost heap
  • Stag pyramid
  • Bird hide

After voting on the best ideas Class 2 constructed a model of the garden and presented it to the rest of the school.

Digging and Worms.

Now armed with the plan, we returned to the site on the 3rd and 12th of February to start building.  Construction of the outdoor classroom is well under way now with apple trees, gooseberry, raspberry and blackberry bushes planted.  The log circle is finished and the bird hide is almost finished. But we’ve still got a lot more to do so please come along, help out and have some fun! The next build days are 24th February and 2nd of March.

Heading Home

The workers heading home after a hard day building the classroom

The Interpretation meeting on 28th of January had a fantastic turn out and I think everyone learnt something about Fingringhoe that they didn’t know before!

We  started off explaining the location of the interpretation panels, and there purpose. Most importantly we want the panels to appeal to as many people as possible and so should have information for adults and children as well as for frequent and occasional visitors. We also want to ensure that the panels allow readers to take the next step once they’ve read the panel and find out more about the area and what it has to offer.

With all this in mind we opened up the floor and discussed the history, legends, geography and wildlife of the area.

The next steps to be taken are to separate out these topics into the three panels and then allow our interpretation specialists to do further research in each area and produce the panels.

7pm Thursday 28th Jan Village Hall

As part of Access Fingringhoe, CoastNet has secured funding for public information on footpath routes about the wildlife, local history and uses of the land to be seen there.

We are concentrating on producing 3 interpretation panels to be located with views of the marsh. We are also investigating converting the disused phone box into a listening post, where you’ll be able to hear recorded sounds clips about the area.

Come and help us by giving ideas, local history stories and decide what information should be included. It would also be a chance to give ideas on the outdoor classroom for the primary school.

Again we had excellent sunny and crisp weather as we met at the Whalebone on the 3rd of January.  After a short explanation of the project we headed south to the path along marshes.

On the way round we discussed good locations for interpretation panels. It was thought that panels could be put along the paths viewing the marsh, one on the sea wall, one just south of the crossed bridle paths and one on the path to post wood.  See the map below.

Possible locations of interpretation panels.

These locations offer amazing views of the marsh

Another interpretation idea has been suggested. The disused phone box in the village could be converted into a listening post, with recorded extracts giving information on Fingringhoe.

We also spoke about possible topics of information for the panels. These came down to the following topics;

– Geology of the area, ie the gravel beds

– More detailed information on the local wildlife

– Oral history on the local areas

On the walk we also found an access issue with no styles giving access to the marsh footpath at the army road entrance to the firing range.

So that was our New Year Walk 2010!

After the success of last year’s project we have won a further bid from Natural England ALSF to continue the work that Access Fingringhoe started. This year the project will be focusing on 3 main areas;

  • Creating an outdoor classroom and wildlife habitats with Fingringhoe Primary School.
  • Improving footpath access to the south of the village.
  • Improving pedestrian road safety through the village.

If you’re interested in the project and want to find out more, come along to our Mince Pie Night on the 15th December 7.00pm at the village hall. Here you’ll be able to learn more about the project, find out how you could become involved and eat a mince pie or two. See you there.

Mince Pie Night 7.00 pm 15th December at the Village Hall

After hectic final weeks Access Fingringhoe has completed its two main tasks.

On the gound, information panels and benches have been installed. Villagers are already busy testing the solid oak benches and admiring the views!

The information panels, four  in all, combine to lead the walker around a new ‘Gravel Pit Trail’. Go and have a look – you may be surprised at some of the little known facts that we have unearthed. What is the origin of the name ‘Fingringhoe’? What is the story behind Post Wood? What large mammals might you see on your walk?

Walkers taking an interest in a new information panel 

The project team at CoastNet and the village expert group have also been thinking towards the future, and produced a ‘Biodiversity and Access Improvement Plan’. This identifies some practical actions that people in the village would like to see implemented. It is the intention to use this plan as the basis for a bid for further funding to benefit Fingringhoe.

Finally, we would like to say a big thankyou to all who contributed to this work, and we hope that you enjoy your walks and appreciate local wildlife all the more as a result.

Best Wishes from the CoastNet team.

As part of Access Fingringhoe we are holding an Interpretation Panel meeting at 7pm Thursday 26th February at The Village Hall.

This is a chance to preview the information panels we’re installing before
they are erected. It’ll allow you to comment on the designs and information
and allow us to make any essential amendments to the design. Come along and give us your thoughts!

Interpretation Panel Meeting 7pm Thursday 26th February at The Village Hall

Spring was definitely in the air for our second nature walk of the year. The walk was again well attended by both human and dog and set off in a sprightly manner from the Whalebone Pub.  Heading down Ferneaux Lane, we went across the bridleways to cover the area to the west of our original Nature Walk.

A quick break by the active quarry site

A quick break by the active quarry site

After a quick break by the active quarry site we continued our walk ending up back at the Whalebone. From the walk we found that buzzards had been spotted in the area, and also outlined a few more access issues.