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Thematic Trails

Westward Ho! on the North Devon Atlantic Coast

THE CLIFFS OF WESTWARD HO! Peter Keene.
ISBN 978-0-948444-35-7 Thematic Trails 2004. 52 pages 70 colour illustr. £2.95
The focus is the coast at Westward Ho! and the passage of time. The landscape holds a memory of past events. On this walk these memories are revealed layer by layer. History, ecology, archaeology, geomorphology, geology all contribute to the resonance of this place. A little imagination allows us to travel in time.



Through an excellent series of clear colour diagrams, maps and photographs the author outlines the evidence from which coastal changes at Westward Ho! can be deduced. Peat beds and sunken forest remains exposed on the sand beach at very low tides, Stone Age middens, Neolithic fish traps, periglacial debris (head) distribution downslope . . . and the remnants of ancient cliff-lines, the highest at about 8 metres above present sea level, reflect the many changes in Quaternary sea level and climate affecting the area. Perhaps the most obvious consequence of fluctuating sea-levels saw the progressive development of the migratory storm Pebble Ridge extending northwards from Westward Ho! for about 2 kilometres and backed by sand dunes, marsh deposits and head, which now make up Northam Burrows Country Park. Between 1870 and 1900 it is estimated that the crest of the Pebble Ridge had migrated some 100 metres inland and in the 1920s and 30s the average retreat was 1.75 metres per year. All these events and the processes bringing them about are clearly explained in time-sequential block diagrams.” ( GA. Magazine of the Geologists’ Association Vol.6 No 2. May 2007.)

Peter Keene’s booklet on the pleasures of exploring Westward Ho! Cliffs on foot, through its history, archaeology and geology, has me encouraging readers to don those walking boots, this guide book in hand, and follow Peter Keene’s Thematic Trail on an exhilarating trip through time. This really is a guide book with a difference. He has prepared and presented this, the latest in his series, in a most engaging way. From practical advice on routes, car parks, toilet facilities, safety and the wonder of the cliffs themselves, their formation and history.” (Joan Cory, North Devon Journal 25.11.04.)

WESTWARD HO! AGAINST THE SEA Peter Keene.
ISBN 978-0-948444-34-0 Thematic Trails 1997. A5. 44 pages. 24 illust. £2.95
A walk on Westward Ho! beach, pebble ridge and promenade draws attention to the long battle between Westward Ho! and the advancing sea. The threat of coast erosion is as old as the resort itself and the walk soon develops into a review of nearly every form of coastal defence, each having been tried and found wanting. Recent developments (2007) make this a section of coast of particular interest for those interested in coastal management and planning.

Wave power cartoon

A wave 4 metres high with a wave-period of 8 seconds arrives on 1 km of Westward Ho! beach with the power of thirty-two 33-tonne lorries travelling at 110 kph (70 mph). In 24 hours that is the equivalent of 345,600 lorries. Small wonder that the sea wall needed constant remedial work……

Just thought I’d drop you an e-mail thanking you for a thoroughly stimulating read this week-end (Westward Ho! Against the Sea) – my understanding of the processes of coastal erosion and the impact of sea-defences has been increased enormously! Standing on the pebble ridge yesterday and scanning the bay and coastline with my newly-found knowledge in mind was a wonderful experience. Thank you very much.” Ian Watson (27.11.2006)


COASTAL MANAGEMENT & COASTAL EROSION AT WESTWARD HO! 1850-2000
Edited by Peter Keene
ISBN 978-0-948444-55-5  67 pages (A4).  £5.00
A chronological record of coastal change since 1850.  Research papers, press cuttings, reports and bibliography relating to the history of coastal erosion and management at Westward Ho!  and adjacent parts of North West Devon, had been summarised by Peter Keene.  Designed as a background resource for visiting tutors and for local interest.

NOTE: The above booklet combines and replaces the two booklets previously published as:
COASTAL MANAGEMENT & COASTAL EROSION AT WESTWARD HO! Part 1
ISBN 978-0-948444-23-4  1850 -1992.
A4. pp 1-46 and
COASTAL MANAGEMENT & COASTAL EROSION AT WESTWARD HO! Part 2
ISBN 978-0-948444-26-5 1992-2000. A4. pp 52-75
 

COASTAL MANAGEMENT & COASTAL EROSION AT WESTWARD HO! Parts 1 + 2
A CD version of the combined booklets (Part 1 and 2) is also available. £5


WESTWARD HO! ECOLOGY TRAIL: beach sand-dune, salt marsh.
Janet Keene ISBN 978-0-948444-02-9 Thematic Trails 1985. A5. 33 pages. 38 illustrations. £1.50
The circular route includes the slipway, beach, clay beds, pebble ridge, sand-dunes, Greysands, the Skern, salt marsh and mud flats; returning to Westward Ho! via Northam Burrows. The trail is suitable for both holiday and school orientated use. It uses a question and answer approach with panels for notes so may be regarded as an expendable booklet but it also lends itself to multiple duplication. In a later Thematic Trails booklet, Northam Burrows, estuary environments, the same author examines a wider a  range of issues of concern in this estuary landscape.

FIELD INTERPRETATION OF PLEISTOCENE DEPOSITS Peter Keene ISBN 978-0-948444-29-6 Thematic Trails 1995. A4. 17 pp. 16 figures.£2.95 Exercise 1: Introduction to logging and interpreting common Pleistocene deposits. Exercise 2: Plotting and interpreting stone orientation in an unconsolidated cliff face. These exercises have been used to introduce school and college parties to the field interpretation of exposed head, raised beach and sand deposits at Westward Ho!, Saunton Cliffs, The Valley of Rocks (Lynton) and Marsland Mouth.


WESTWARD HO! HISTORY GROUP, a brief history of Westward Ho!

A stiff A5 folder containing 10 six-page pamphlets, each covering an aspect of the history of Westward Ho! – Pre-historic Westward Ho! – Westward Ho! Heritage Trail – Rev. Isaac Henry Gosset 1816 to 1892 – United Services College – Royal North Devon Golf Course – Sporting Westward Ho! – Vanished Westward Ho! – Seafield House, a brief history – Memory Lane, schooldays and childhood memories – Potwalloping. A5 folder. 65 pages, 71 illustrations. Westward Ho! Community History Project 2004-2007 £3.50

OFFER of a Thematic Trails North Devon Coastal Landscape Pack.