The Swale and Isle of Sheppey - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Virtual tour panorama showing a view over The Swale to the Isle of Sheppey in Kent at low tide. Looking east, you can see the sand banks of the Swale Nature Reserve and beyond this the hills of Whistable. Inland are the Nagden Marshes and Cleve Marshes. This picture was taken whilst on a walk from Faversham to Whtistable with the Saturday Walker's Club in July 2011.
The Swale and Isle of Sheppey - FURTHER INFORMATION
The Swale and Isle of Sheppey - Faversham visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'The Swale and Isle of Sheppey' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Kent.
The Swale is a strip of sea separating the Isle of Sheppey in Kent from the mainland. Formed by rising sea levels which flooded a shallow valley after the last ice-age, it runs from the mouth of the Medway River east to Whitstable Bay. The waterway has gradually silted up and used to be much wider in Roman times. Today at low tide is becomes almost dry with exposed mud flats.
The Swale is also an important National Nature Reserve and a Special Protection Area. At the eastern end, marshes on either bank contain eel grass, Ray's knotgrass, white seakale, glassworts and golden samphire which support rare butterflies and moths. The mudflats and marshes also provide habitat for numerous rare birds, including about 17% of the UK's breeding Avocet population and 15% of the Marsh Harrier population. Because of this The Swale draws bird watchers.
The northern part of the reserve covers part of the Isle of Harty, while the South Swale Nature Reserve covers over 850 acres following about 3 miles of the coastline on the edge of Nagden Marshes, Graveney Marshes and Cleves Marshes. It is home to thousands of wildfowl and waders, including skylarks, reed warblers, breeding redshanks and sometimes bearded tits in addition to the marsh harriers.
The South Swale Nature Reserve also lies on the section of the Saxon Shore Way as it runs between Faversham and Whitstable. This is a popular 163 mile long walking route following the Roman coastline from Gravesend to Hastings in East Sussex. It is also accessible from various other public footpaths through the marshes. If visiting the reserve, please keep to the paths to protect the environment and remove all your litter with you.