The local cultural heritage people were over visiting the nature reserve to document our crumbling WW2 structures, using a drone with a camera that enabled a 360 degree, 3D digital record of the concrete bunkers before the next storm reduces them to ruins.

That in itself was exciting, but while we watched them fly a drone about, I scanned the shore with my bins and, way out at low tide, about half a mile away, spotted a dark shape with curved bits sticking up. Is that a shipwreck? I asked my colleagues who’d come along for a neb. Let’s go see! we decided.

It was a suprisingly long way out, of course, and the sands here are terrible and scary, with the tide turning fast and easily cutting off the unwary. So we jogged across the sandflats, and found that yes it was a shipwreck – incredible! an old wooden ship, the hull full of shingle.




We were all very aware that the tide had turned half an hour ago, so literally just grabbed a few pictures and the jogged back up the beach.

A web search, and although there’s been many wrecks on this side of the island, the only one i can find that names this particular sandbar – Hilpsford – is the 1825 wreck of a brig called Susan. Would something from nearly 200 years ago have survived this well?

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