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Your Benefits from

Essex Coast Organisation

01  Flood Defence


  • The original reason for the seawalls being built was as a flood defence mechanism. This function is still the over-riding requirement of sea-walls today, protecting far more than is initially obvious. ECO is having a big influence on the maintenance of these seawalls


  • Regardless of the apparant remoteness of any seawall, they still play an intrinsic part of flood defence to the wider area. Some may appear to just hold back surge tides from flooding farmland, but the ditch and sluice drainage systems that they also protect are vital to the removal of water from rural roads, houses, villages and larger towns. ECO is ensuring the best possible outcome not just for farmers, but also all the people that rely on efficient ditch systems, sluices and sea-walls.


  • Essex farmers and landowners pay a 'General Drainage Charge' of nearly £1 million towards the protection of sea defences


  • ECO has a collaboration agreement with the Environment Agency which can provide funding for small scale maintenance and repair work. This type of project work usually costs between 1/10 th - 1/20th of that charged by government 'Framework Contractors' and can be undertaken far sooner, thus helping public money go much, much further.



02  Public Footpaths


  • The Essex Coast has a 350 mile long raised viewing platform. Most of it is has been available to the public for decades.  It can be accessed at over a hundred different points.  These are the gateway to thousands of years of coastal history... Battle sites, Roman Forts, 800 year old early Christian chapels and 100's of barge hards/docks that kept London fed before railways were invented


  • This is the great seawall of Essex. Originally handbuilt in individual sections, it now protects towns, oil refineries, roads, villages, farmland and nature reserves. It has survived many storms and surges and remains in use, managed and repaired by a collection of authorities and individuals


  • Whether you walk it in sections or have your own favourite route you can observe the twice daily rhythm of the tides, the range of farming activities to landward - this area has continuously grown cereals and fed grazing cattle for millennia.  To seaward, the coast is a winter waterfowl refuge and a summer sailing ground.  On misty quiet mornings there are places so quiet and so ancient that in your minds eye that drifting Thames Barge can easily be imagined as a Roman trading ship


  • ECO work hard to ensure that the public will continue to be able to enjoy the unique features of the Essex coastal area, so please appreciate your coastal walk, ramble responsibly and remember, we're all in it together



03  Helping Government Budgets go Further


  • ECO is working hard to provide organisations like the Environment Agency with alternative methods and working practices that will enable all budgets, but especially those relating to coastal flooding, to go much further and prove measurably more effective


  • The ECO collaboration agreement with the EA as mentioned in 01 is already saving hundreds of thousands of pounds a year


  • These local and national budget savings will allow money to be better spent for the wider community



04  The Essex Coast... Breaking Records


  • At 350 miles, Essex boasts the longest coastline of any county in England


  • Essex has more islands than any other county in England


  • The Battle of Maldon site, near Northey Island on the River Blackwater, is the oldest recorded battlefield in Great Britain




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