Orfordness Lighthouse- Felicity, Deborah and Nick

Here’s the first article of two covering two very enjoyable days out whilst on holiday with some good friends recently.

Orford Ness is a huge shingle spit, linked to the mainland at Aldeburgh and stretching along the coast to Orford and down to North Wier Point, opposite Shingle Street. It is divided from the mainland by the river alde (Ore off Orford), and was formed by longshore drift along the coast. The material of the spit comes from places further north. Near the middle point of its length, at the foreland point or ‘Ness’, lies the Orfordness Lighhouse.

Orford Ness is an internationally important site for nature conservation. It contains a significant portion of the European reserve of vegetated shingle habitat, which is internationally scarce, highly fragile and very easily damaged.

The peninsula was formerly administered by the Ministry of Defence, which conducted secret military tests during both world wars and during the ‘Cold War’. These included bomb testing, the development of Radar and Atomic weapons testing.

We had a wonderfully sunny day for our ferry crossing and walk around the site, which shows a curious mix of natural beauty and interest with man -made stuctures and debris, much of which has been left in situ. The volunteer guides were very friendly and informative. After returning to the mainland and following a super pub lunch, we explored the river by boat and saw several groups of sea birds, including Avocet, Oyster Catcher, Tern and Sea gulls.

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Further information:

National Trust website