Following The Secretary of State’s decision last Thursday, Kent Wildlife Trust Swale volunteers have shared “A photographic tour around South Swale – truly a very special place!” with GREAT. With thanks to this wonderful group of volunteers who carry out vital work on behalf of the Kent Wildlife Trust.

‘Last week’s we looked at Oare Marshes, which had a 500 acre industrial site dismantled and returned to marshland in the 1920s. Bizarrely, 100 years on, we have a 900 acre industrialisation of Graveney Marshes looming.

The team install a new sign in 2009. Can you spot the giant spirit level on the sea wall?

A long and thin Reserve (approx. 6km) stretching from what some photographers call ‘The Seasalter 10’ at the eastern end – to Faversham Creek, just upstream from its intersection with Oare Creek.

The western end of the Reserve, looking across Faversham Creek to the Shipwright’s Arms at Hollowshore.

We have dug deep for this picture – back to Castle Coote in 1948. One of our volunteers in his younger days. You will notice a large structure in the background, which was a boom constructed from scaffold poles, timber baulks and old barges to prevent German E-boats and U-boats from using the Swale as a back door to the Thames and Medway.

What’s left of the boom about 50m east of the ‘No entry’ signs at Castle Coote.

Looking across the mud flats and the Horse Sands. The black shape centre is a barge, the last remaining part of the boom visible on Sheppey.

Many of you will be familiar with this mural of a Hen Harrier at Shellness, Sheppey. It is painted on what was the control room for mines laid in a line across the Swale, which could be electrically detonated. This defensive measure was to supplement the boom. The power cables are still visible inside the concrete structure.

The breached sea wall in February 1953. This view, looking east (with the sea on the left) shows the devastation created by the 6m tidal surge which struck the east coast. Note the sailing vessel on top of the sea wall.

This is the same view today. It is close to the Cleve Hill track.

A view looking west towards Castle Coote point (1953).

The same view now.

Bit of an arty one. Somewhat unusual patterns created by stranded weed.

View across the reeds towards Faversham Creek.

Walking the Saxon Shoreway towards the Sportsman.

Looking towards Castle Coote point.

One of Kevin’s first construction tasks – the corral adjacent to the Sportsman. It was mainly constructed with timber sourced from the Blean.

The ever shifting shingle at Castle Coote point, nesting site for Little Terns.

Graveney Marshes, a clear view looking west. Enjoy it while you can!’