Free as a bird

Went for a walk with the 70-300mm on. This was unusuyal to say the least as this lens rarely sees the light of day when there are no football matches to shoot.
Having acquired an upgrade to the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 (which hopefully arrives today) I thought it would be good to have an outing with a longer lens than usual. It wasn’t a photographic outing, more of a dog walk (with kids) along the bank of the River Blackwater from Waterside Holiday Park to the Stone Inn whereupon it seemed necessary to stop for a refreshing and very pleasant Shandy whilst taking in the view.http://www.davefrost.co.uk/wordpress/wp-admin/post-new.php

Free as a bird

The River Blackwater is a river in England. It rises in the northwest of Essex as the River Pant and flows to Bocking, near Braintree, from where its name changes to the Blackwater. Its course takes it near Stisted, and then via Bradwell Juxta Coggeshall and Coggeshall and near Witham where it is joined by the River Brain. Passing Maldon it reaches the North Sea at West Mersea. The River Chelmer (which is a canal at that point) meets the River Blackwater near Langford. Some of the water flows over Beeleigh weir and some flows down the canal. At Heybridge flood water from the canal flows over a weir at the site of the old Heybridge mill and down the original course of the Blackwater (now known as Heybridge Creek) before passing through a sluice gate into the tidal Blackwater Estuary at Maldon. One of the most famous Viking battles in Britain, the Battle of Maldon, took place directly beside the river in 991. The Vikings were successful in battle against the Anglo-Saxons, claiming victory in this Dark Age battle.

The Blackwater was a source of fish and oysters for the town of Maldon during the Roman occupation. The remains of Saxon fish traps were discovered in the river in the 1990s.
During the winter of 1776 the Blackwater froze from Maldon to Osea island, a distance of some four miles. The ice trapped fishing and cargo carrying vessels and blocked any imports of coal, oil, wool to Maldon.
In 1793 the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Company was formed by act of Parliament. Over the next four years, the company built a navigation from Chelmsford to meet the tidal estuary of the River Blackwater in Colliers Reach at the place that’s today called Heybridge Basin (after the canal basin there).
The burgers of the borough of Maldon refused to allow the canal to pass through their borough, so the company routed it just outside the borough boundary, which is why it ended up at Colliers Reach, rather than at Maldon. From Chelmsford, the navigation mainly followed the course of the River Chelmer until it reached Beeleigh, near Maldon. Then it followed the course of the River Blackwater to Heybridge, and from there via a canal to the sea lock at Colliers Reach.
A weir connected the navigation to the tidal river Blackwater at Heybridge, where it powered a water mill. Heybridge mill was demolished after severe flooding in this area in 1953, but the mill house still stands. The river itself (now known as Heybridge Creek here) was dammed between Heybridge Hall and Potman marsh in 1954 as part of a programme of flood defence improvements. Most of the water flowing down the River Blackwater nowadays flows over a weir at Beeleigh and along the tidal section of the Chelmer before rejoining the Blackwater just below the Hythe at Maldon.