Cultural Entities 
(United Kingdom)


The Wash

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1. Overview


The Wash


The estuarine embayment of The Wash and its maritime influenced hinterlands, as depicted in Figure 1


around 2,450 km²

Location - map:

The Wash and its hinterlands on the eastern coast of England; shared between the counties of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk; United Kingdom

Origin of name:

What was aptly named Metaris A Estuarium – a bay with tidal marshes
and mudflats – back in Alexander the Greats day started to become known as The Wash much later on. The first true recorded use of the word Wysche or Waashe was used in the sixteenth century and described only the tidal areas of the Rivers Welland and Nene. A century on the area was referred to as The Washes being a ‘a very large arme’ of the German Ocean. All old accounts refer to the great body of water that then flowed away on a tide to reveal dry land of great danger.

Relationship/similarities with other cultural entities:

The project entity area has an intricate relationship with the adjacent fenland area, which also reaching back through the years was influenced by being tidal or from sudden inundation from the sea and rivers. The deeper fen becomes more peat like in character than that incorporated in this project area and in the most southern reaches there are true hill forms where historic towns such as Warboys and the cathedral settlement of Ely sit, which were once surrounded by a waterland as isles in the Fens. The similarities between The Wash and Wadden Sea in their cultural landscape evolution, is one of the main reasons for sharing experiences through the Lancewad Plan Project. For example, in more recent history the use of duck decoys in Alter Koog within the Nordstrand entity of Schleswig-Holstein are similar to those that was used all around The Wash, and still exist today for example at Friskney in Lincolnshire.

Characteristic elements and ensembles:

Evidence of prehistoric and medieval life including for example, Roman crop marks and Iron Age salterns; settlement patterns relating to uplands in the east and higher inner fenland ridges; Norman building programme evidence in churches and castles; maritime and farming sectors evident throughout including evidence of land reclamation and drainage in lower lying areas of western and southern reaches of area.

2. Geology and geography

2.1 General
In its current form, The Wash is an embayment of the North Sea, the largest estuarine system in the UK today. The hinterlands behind the sea embankments were once part of this system, and a much larger area of marsh and fenland, known as the Fens, which spread as far south as beyond Ely in Cambridgeshire. The five rivers that drain into The Wash today – Rivers Steeping, Witham, Welland, Nene and Great Ouse - drain over 12% of England. There used to be other rivers that now have been channelled into these five remaining estuaries.

Within the entity project area the hinterlands still reflect their maritime past, as do the historic settlements of the area. Severe storms and associated flooding have punctuated the social history of this area, and its landscape. It has been progressively submerged by rising seas over the last 10-12,000 years. Offshore there are submerged peat and land surfaces, with associated human artefacts. The submerged sediments are basically continuous with the reclaimed areas of the Fens, although in places early deposits have been eroded by deep channels. It is likely that there are historic wrecks preserved beneath the seabed, but these remain undiscovered due to the shifting nature of the sands and mud of The Wash.

Map showing regional and county boundaries of England.
© English Nature.
Map of project area with red line delimiting the entity which falls into three counties, from west to east; Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk. It is also split between two government regions known as East Midlands on the western side and East of England in the eastern section.
Water colour map  by Sam Wilson based on aerial photography supplied by Environment Agency. © WESG

2.2 Present landscape
The Wash entity area is split into two distinct landscapes, one representing the wilder, more naturalised vista which is defined by the North Sea, saltmarsh, mud flats and five river estuaries, which then reaches the foot of a sea embankment. On the other side is a landscape manicured by man, dominated by a rural appearance on the whole with church spires, mill towers and the odd other tall structure punctuating the skyline. There are scattered market towns that follow the lines of old transport routes and identify slighter higher ground, with the historic ports towns of Boston, Spalding, Wisbech and King’s Lynn being the major settlements with the outlying seaside towns of Hunstanton and Skegness guarding the mouth of The Wash with their golden beaches.

The wilder land and seascapes on the seaward side of the embankment. © Jon Watson Cultivated landscapes on the other side of the sea embankments. © Fens Tourism

The hinterlands of The Wash vary from east to west in character with over two-thirds being somewhat similar in character and the most eastern edge evolving into a quite different character. In the western, southern reaches through to just above King’s Lynn there is little relief greatly above sea level, being flat and on a wider scoping range, generally open. The main vertical elements relate to settlements and farmsteads, such as shelter belts, church steeples, industrial buildings and an increasing number of wind turbines; and the odd remaining duck decoy. Many waterways of varying size criss-cross the land of large agricultural and horticultural fields. There is little livestock associated with this area; the odd sheep grazing harvested brassica fields and cattle out near the open, wild Wash where they wander the saltmarsh in the summer. Farm reservoir banks, old sea and river embankments, and salterns are the only true undulation in the landscape. The older settlements tend to be linear following old trading routes or droves.

Whereas the eastern hinterlands of Norfolk, north of King’s Lynn, do have relief features in the form of cliffs at Hunstanton which reappear near Wolferton village within Sandringham Estate. There is a gentle undulating landscape that is predominately farmland but of a more intimate scale than the open landscape around the corner of The Wash towards the west. Trees and woodlands feature much more greatly here, and the church spires are lost much more easily amongst the hills and woods. In part, this area has been nationally designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is a landscape based designation which includes placing statutory duties on relevant bodies to ensure it maintains its character and beauty. Remnant sea banks do not tell the story of the land here, but Norman Keeps make a hint towards past landscapes.

Uplands of the eastern Wash coastal line that feature inland further south within the entity.
© Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk

3. Landscape and settlement history 

3.1 Prehistoric and Medieval Times

The Wash and its hinterland are made up of many metres of sediments that have been gradually deposited since Mesolithic times (from around 5400 BC) due to a combination of estuarine and freshwater conditions reflecting periodic sea level rise and fall across the original dry, wooded basin landscape. Across and within the deposits of the Fens lies a record of human history, showing evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman habitation, industry and communications. Archaeological treasures include: pottery, flints and ceremonial monuments of Neolithic age (4500-2000 BC) and Bronze Age field systems, settlements and round burial barrows. During the Iron Age and Roman period a salt production industry developed around The Wash. The evidence shows there was a second coming of salt making in the Medieval times, no evidence has been found as of yet covering the Saxon period.

Late Iron Age/Romano-British field systems near Snettisham in Norfolk.
© Norfolk County Council

Within the light and comparatively fertile chalk soils of north west Norfolk there has been human settlements with cultivation evidence right back to the Bronze and Iron Age, which continued through the Roman times, particularly being influenced by the fact that it ran near a major military route north to Brancaster and Holme. Throughout the Medieval times the settlement pattern centred on commons and greens which proliferated along the rising ground heading east, and in some cases settlement concentrated on military or commercial centres, such as Castle Rising, or ecclesiastical centres such as the Cluniac priory of Castle Acre. By the late Medieval period, there was a widening of sheep walks and warrens which were both subject to manorial control.

The silt-based Fens, which stretch from King’s Lynn towards Boston have a long settlement history going back to the Romano-British period and beyond. Roman settlement saw the first attempts of land drainage, when the sea level was about twenty feet lower than now with the marshy coast being sheltered by offshore banks and shoals. Monastic institutions played an important role from the 7th century onwards, due to undertaking large scale drainage works. The associated religious settlements were established on the fen edge or on isles, such as Crowland and Ely just outside of The Wash project area.

The sea level started to rise in about the second century with the fenland lagoon silting up quickly. The settled fen, otherwise known as the town lands, with a variety of villages and larger towns, mostly being medieval in origin with fine medieval churches, formed an arc around The Wash. These are either positioned on higher grounds of the courser material or on navigable rivers where they performed as either inland ports or coastal ports, such as Wisbech and Boston. This pattern of settlement was largely created by a pastoral economy with large irregular enclosures around villages and the fen edge, with embankments happening on either side in the marshes towards The Wash and in the fen on the opposite side of the ridge. Some of the names of these settlement are English in origin and others illustrate relations with neigbouring North Sea countries, such as Skirbeck and Wrangle relating back to Danish conquerors. Towns such as Boston and King’s Lynn flourished in the medieval times through trade with mainland Europe, wool in particular.


The grandeur of St. Botolph’s Church in Boston – locally known as ‘The Stump’. © Fens Tourism

This mass of trade of importing wine, timber, cloth and stockfish; exporting wool, cloth and grain saw smaller ports expanding all along the coast from Skegness to Wainfleet, to Surfleet to Gedney through to Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. This trade was underpinned by the great religious houses of the area, who owned large sheep flocks, and had land for saltmaking and fisheries fleets.

The 13th century saw a time of change with periods of dramatic sea rise and tidal surges overtopping the banks to reshape the coast and reduce the grazing to summertime only. The Medieval defensive clay banks of this time are still misnamed today as ‘Roman’. Natural drainage deteriorated because the gradient lessoned and large drainage projects of the inland areas were thwarted by ‘intercommoning’ practices.

3.2 Early Modern Times
The area was gravely impacted upon by the deteriorating climate and the plague. Ports declined due to the migration of new technologies and industries from the power of the urban guilds’ restrictive control and due to the demise of diplomatic relations with the European Low Countries. Another factor in the decline of such towns related to sources of salt with greater purity being marketed elsewhere. This saw towns like King’s Lynn and Boston become market towns by the 16th century, instead of being the previously important regional trade centres of times before, and various smaller havens went into total decay.

By the mid to late 16th century the process of coastal reclamation had began with small sites at Gibraltar Point south of Skegness, and a new drain being cut in Boston called the Maud Foster in 1568. But these were nothing in comparison to the changes driven by the 4th Earl of Bedford and his engineer Sir Cornelius Vermuyden, and in some cases Sir Philibert Vernatti. With a Royal Charter from Charles I, they made drowned land ‘fit for tillage and pasture’, which had previously been under monastic control. This was the start of seeing the area change from grassland and water dominated landscape to one we associate with more today, a highly cultivated and managed one. Other major players in this change included the Earl of Lindsey. Drains such as Vernatt’s in the Spalding area, and the South Forty Foot cutting from Kesteven to Boston area saw huge areas of common land drained, and coastal embankments saw large areas reclaimed from the sea, such as 1,120 acres at Tydd St Mary on the Nene estuary in 1632. By 1660, 17,374 acres had been embanked from Gedney to Moulton, and the whole of Bicker Haven cut off from the sea.

Fewer large scale drainage works occurred throughout the 1700s, although many improvements were made to those that had happened previously including the straightening of water courses. The efficiency of gravity drainage decreased further in this time and so the use of wind pumps became essential. This had major implications for the Fens skyline, as can be seen below.

Wind pumps became essential in maintaining drainage by the 1700s. © Fens Tourism

With the drainage and reclamation small farmsteads started to appear outside of the townland belt of settlement, and drove ways, known as ‘The Smeeth’ were created running along the cultivated fields to the coastal marshes. Most buildings in the open, inland fen are post 1750. The productivity of the reclaimed soils soon saw the development of extensive areas of high grade arable cultivation, over summer grazing, and it is still the dominate land use today.

Within north west Norfolk on the chalklands tree cover had been greatly removed by the 17th century, which saw a change in building materials. There is a general dominance of flint from the chalk and carstone from the greensand ridge being used within buildings. Within the valley bottoms open-field systems continued to be unenclosed into the 18th century, whereas enclosure was largely complete up on the poorer and more acidic soils of the greensand ridge and chalklands by the 18th century. It is on the uplands that large estates formed, which the area is still famous for today, such as Sandringham and Houghton.

3.3 Modern Times
John Rennie, engineered one of the last great drainage actions of the 19th century that saw over 40,000 acres drained of the East, West and Wildmore Fens in 1801-1814 north of Boston. By 1866, steam pumps were introduced to this area, having been installed much earlier to more southern reaches of the Deeping Fens south of Spalding in 1827. The impact steam pumps had on the landscape was not only visual but also of an auditory nature. Larger pumps and associated housing were introduced as sea-levels continued to rise throughout the area, and water management structures still feature in the landscape today, and some of the old steam pumps provide an opportunity for socio-economic activities through acting as visitor attractions for the area, such as the Pinchbeck Engine and the open days ran by the Internal Drainage Boards, for example, the Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board’s Historic Land Drainage Working Demonstration days.

Drainage works on the South Forty Foot Drain. © Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board

Coastal reclamations continued into the 20th century, with the last occurring north of Boston between Freiston and Butterwick in the late 1970s/early 1980s. We have now seen a reversal of this process at that exact site, with a managed realignment being undertaken for flood risk management reasons, resulting in the creation of 80 hectares of saltmarsh and several saline lagoons that support a new visitor attraction, Freiston Shore Nature Reserve.

The A52 is the main trunk road between Boston and Skegness which even today has many curves and sharp corners, probably reflecting what was once a causeway that followed either an embankment or the townland upper silt ridge. The settlement pattern within The Wash hinterlands only truly began to alter with the development of new roads such as the A17 and A47, which has resulted in the townlands settlements spreading along the routes.

The dispersed farmsteads of the 19th century tend to be red/buff brick dwellings, with the mud and stud walling that once was used almost in none existence. The roofs are tiled with red pan-tiles or more commonly Welsh slate. The field patterns that surround these farmsteads are ancient, semi-regular relating to the aforementioned ‘The Smeeth’ or drove roads.

Field patterns of today illustrating past land use – Holbeach and Whaplode Droves reclaimed in early medieval, c.1241.
© Lincolnshire County Council

Duck decoys also sprang up around The Wash, some of the best in the country and some of these still feature in the landscape today but many were lost as farming became more intensified. These remain the only tree cover other than shelterbelts. Fields further inland become dominated by vast rectilinear patterns within straight roads and drainage features, where boundaries are defined by ditches and drains, rarely hedgerows.

Whereas, over on the eastern section of The Wash area in north west Norfolk the fields are enclosed by thorn hedges and it is greatly defined by vast estates which developed in the 18th and 19th century with large boundary flint and brick walls, lodge buildings and parkland plantations. The actual estate houses vary in style and are often concealed from view within the large scale geometric enclosed landscape. There is greater tree cover in this landscape with large woodland blocks.

4. Modern development and planning

4.1 Land use
The predominant use of the area still remains to be agriculture and horticulture. The intensification period in the last 50 years has seen changes for the landscape – further straightening of field systems, grubbing out of older sea embankments for more tillage land and less livestock. But in very recent times, there has been a creep back towards ‘slower’, less intensified farming with the re-introduction of livestock, organic farmers with grassland reappearing. It is unlikely this will affect the whole area but it brings back some diversity to the landscape that had, in part, been lost. Also changes in support for farming communities has resulted in landscape impacts, such as crop coverage being different and agri-environment schemes supporting the protection and enhancement of some characterising elements of the landscape.

4.2 Settlement development
Increased tourism, either related to in situ or transient visitors, and people moving from the south into the area for a slower pace of life and cheaper housing, is helping secure an increase in the need for development in the area. The supporting infrastructure along major roads is also increasing, and gradually what once were independent settlements seem to be merging. Some of this development works with the local character of the buildings, and some does not. In the eastern section, moving towards north Norfolk, second homes becomes more of an issue where there are villages that only come to life at the weekend or at holiday times. Various policies within local planning and policy documents have been developed for these honey-pot areas to help curb this phenomenon and build a more sustainable type of tourism, whereas in other parts of the entity this is not as of yet an area of concern.

4.3 Industry and energy
In recent years there has been an increased use of the area for energy generation including gas powered stations, to even more recently modern wind turbines (2005-6). At present these all seem to centre on the southern section of The Wash hinterlands. The development of offshore wind turbines is also new to the area, although the actual turbines are not allowed within The Wash, they are being built off the coast of Skegness near the mouth of the embayment, and proposals to cable the extremely large windfarms through The Wash are currently under consideration. There are implications for the onshore landscape, as well as the offshore seascape, in terms of national electricity grid connections needing to be enlarged. There are also various large processing and packaging plants relating to produce grown from the land scattered throughout the area, but with a particularly high concentration around Spalding. Often they are alongside the major trunk roads, as there is little serviced by rail. Haulage companies have proliferated in the area.

4.4 Infrastructure
There are no motorways crossing the area. The major northerly trunk road into Norfolk, the A17, cuts right through the entity including various bridges crossing the rivers, one of which at Sutton Bridge is a historic listed structure. The other major road is the A52 cutting through the western side. There is a noticeable increase in traffic in the spring and summer relating to tourism. No ferries sail from the ports, but the commercial ports of Boston, Sutton Bridge and King’s Lynn see much shipping traffic of container goods, timber and the like. Boston and King’s Lynn also still support fishing fleets that harvest shellfish, in the most part, from The Wash. The port of Wisbech is further inland on the River Nene, and as well as still being commercially active, it has developed as a yacht harbour for smaller craft with a series of wooden pontoons along the historic quayside. There also used to be an active, commercial port at Fosdyke on the River Welland, but a thriving yacht yard has now replaced it. There are works underway to join-up various rivers and waterways to make it possible to travel between them, presently including linking the River Witham with the South Forty Foot Drain in Boston.

5. Legal and Spatial Planning Aspects

There are a suite of statutory plans that relate to this area at various levels.
These include:
The Wash embayment is a highly designated site from international level to a local one. Designations include Ramsar, European Marine Site, Special Protected Area, Special Area of Conservation, Site of Special Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserve and Local Nature Reserve. All of these lie within legislation relating to nature conservation from global agreements on wetlands, to European birds and wildlife protection, to national and local considerations.
Part of the entity falls within a national landscape designation of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This designation seeks to ensure the conservation of natural beauty within landscape, and the North Coast AONB is part of a national network of sites alongside National Parks that protect precious areas. As of 2000, it became a statutory duty for relevant local authorities or conservation boards to prepare and deliver a management plan for these sites.
Two Regional Spatial Strategies/Plans for East of England and East Midlands – these include such framework policies as; to protect and enhance the region’s natural and cultural assets, and; that new developments respect and enhance local character. These policies seek to influence local planning authorities, amongst others;
The Wash Estuary Strategy Group is a non-statutory partnership that practices Integrated Coastal Zone Management and works to deliver sustainable development principles in the area through influencing others and taking direct action. They produced the Wash Estuary Management Plan (2nd edition) through fully engaging with the local communities and stakeholders in the area to develop policies that set out an agreed holistic framework for the area, including for cultural assets – historic environment and landscape. This has resulted in further action, including developing spatial planning tools for the cultural landscape and assets of the area.
Local district/borough plans for East Lindsey, Boston, South Holland, Fenland and King’s Lynn & West Norfolk. There is a process at the moment from moving from Local Plans in the planning authority areas to Local Development Frameworks (LDF) which engages the local community much more in local decision-making. LDFs will be supported by a body of evidence, and most planning authorities will include a Landscape Character Assessment and a Historic Landscape Characterisation report. Hopefully in The Wash area this will include the characterisation report being developed for this entity through the Lancewad Plan Project. It is also the local planning authorities who designate conservation areas within cultural townscapes, which aims to ensure the historic character of a townscape is maintained which also ensures the townscapes influence on the wider cultural landscape is maintained.
There are128 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and 2,168 listed buildings and structures. 'Scheduling' is for nationally important sites and monuments that are given legal protection. English Heritage takes the lead in identifying which should be placed on the schedule by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The current legislation, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, supports a formal system of Scheduled Monument Consent for any work to a designated monument. Scheduling is the only legal protection specifically for archaeological sites. ‘Listing’ helps protect the best architectural heritage, and when a building is listed it is placed on the ‘special architectural or historic interest’ list compiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, based on advice from English Heritage. Both of these systems are under Governmental review, and a White Paper called Heritage Review is currently being consulted on, and so things may change.

6. Vulnerabilities

Climate change and the push by central Government to meet renewable energy targets and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions are seeing a large increase in applications for windfarms in the area. There is a need for a greater strategic view in terms of the landscape capacity instead of a site by site process, which some of the planning authorities have undertaken. Cultural character and heritage assets need to be a material consideration in the development of such guidance not just proximity to urban areas. This should also be the tact for traditional power station developments. Climate change also presents a direct threat to the cultural landscape in terms of sea level rise, ocean acidification and more storm events. All three may squeeze certain landscape elements out of existence and the cultural activities they support, and storms may drastically alter coast lines, cause flood and wind damage with more acid causing erosion of archaeological and built elements.

Farming continues to be an issue and an opportunity for cultural land and seascapes. The loss of family businesses with the increase in large agri-businesses can lead to yet more old embankments being lost and curvi-linear features representing old creek systems. Larger plough machinery can cause damage to ground based defining elements, such as salterns. Also the change from growing traditional crops to biomass fuels may be a particularly issue in the future, as it is already starting to be in other parts of the adjacent areas. Continued growth of associated infrastructure is gradually degrading areas, including it getting larger in scale such as glasshouses, and/or, packing sheds made out of box profile sheeting instead of traditional materials, and it is often the associated industries that are infilling along the major highways between settlements.
Increased development within settlements or piecemeal throughout the rural reaches, not only can depreciate the distinctiveness of an area if done insensitively, but puts greater pressure on natural resources including water and the need for greater protection from natural events. Greater efficiency in drainage causes desiccation of ancient monuments within the landscape and more stringent flood risk tools can chip away at character through reducing the tidal influences in historic ports or via rock armour being placed in front of cliff lines.
Inappropriate tourism driven developments gradually redefines an area, so old Victorian resorts lose that connection, or the drive for marinas and economic regeneration leads to distinctive, historic quayside becoming the same as every other café culture waterfront within the country. These issues are currently on the horizon for the area, and may not be the end point if the decision-makers take cultural land, urban and seascapes as a serious material consideration, particularly as it may give the edge over other visitor destinations.

Conservation legislation in itself can be a barrier to ensuring that cultural assets within a landscape are managed proactively through placing too much red tape between the best intentions of an owner and the ability to achieve it. This can, and has, resulted in neglect as being the easiest option.

7. Potentials

The cultural heritage infrastructure, as part of the whole areas green infrastructure, offers opportunities for socio-economic regeneration and risk management. By restoring more of the historic landscape by re-introducing wet fenland and flood plains at appropriate sites in the inland sections of the area, sustainable fluvial flood risk could be achieved alongside biodiversity gain, economic regeneration and social access to the area. This kind of risk management can also be used at the coast. Within The Wash entity, a coastal management realignment has already seen a reintroduction of an earlier Victorian sea embankment and hotel, providing more sustainable flood risk. It has also created a local nature reserve which is supporting on average of 60,000 visitors per year, which has seen an increase in spend at local historic public houses and other businesses.

The numerous waterways and historic sea embankments also provide a huge network that could be integrated better into the local communities and visitors accessing the countryside and appreciating the cultural landscape of the area. In so doing it would place value on them and lead to better management. This in part is being realised through the Fens Waterways Link Project, which is a long-term vision to re-connect the cathedral cities of Lincoln, Peterborough and Ely via navigable historic waterways, which includes linking up with Boston, Wisbech and King’s Lynn.
Agri-environment schemes can re-introduce, enhance or protect various elements that define local distinctiveness within the cultural landscapes. Other resources can support communities to rebuild elements of their local environment, such as restoring historic structures that define the skyline for miles around, or, awareness raising activities with land owners of the importance and opportunities that the sea embankment network offer in an area with few rights of way.

Strategic spatial planning tools for the area are being developed through the Lancewad Plan project for the cultural landscape, which will identify further issues and actions for the area through working with the local stakeholders using various character maps that have been produced. A spatial coastal zone management plan through the fully revised second edition Wash Estuary Management Plan already sets out policies regarding the landscape and historic environment. And it has now been recognised that an integrated Green Infrastructure Master Plan to take into account the growth in the area will further help sustain the special qualities of the area. The review of The Wash Shoreline Management Plan, which is the long-term policy setting document for flood risk management and coastal protection, also offers an opportunity to influence future management of the area. All of these can provide an evidence basis for planning guidance and appropriate development control decision-making.

Through promoting and implementing these tools and opportunities at various levels, horizontally and vertically, it should ensure that the cultural landscape of The Wash is allowed to continue to evolve but in a sensitive manner that respects its history – socially and naturally.

8. Sources

Author: Tammy Smalley

General literature:
Roberts, B. K. & Wrathmell, S. (2000): An atlas of rural settlement in England.
Bennett, S. & Bennett, N. (1993): An historical atlas of Lincolnshire.
Heaton, A. (2001): Duck Decoys.
Sir Payne-Gallwey, R. (1886): Book of Duck Decoys, their construction, management and history.
Countryside Agency (1999) Countryside Character, Volume 4: East Midlands and Volume 5: East of England. Fenland Survey: an essay in landscape and persistence.
Hall, D & Coles, J.M. (1994): English Heritage Archaeological Report.
Robinson, D. (1981): The Book of the Lincolnshire Seaside.
The Norfolk Coast Partnership (2004): Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management, first edition.
Hallam, H. E. (1965): Settlement and Society: a study of the early Agrarian history of south Lincolnshire.
Hoskins, W. G. (1977, 2nd ed.): The making of the English countryside.
Wash Estuary Strategy Group (2004): Wash Estuary Management Plan, second edition.