Sheppey Access - The Isle of Sheppey Website - Serving Locals and Visitors - click to go to home page

An Introduction to the Isle of Sheppey - article by Dave Stock.

Situated at the "mouth" of the River Thames, some fifty miles from London, the UK's capital City, Is the Island of Sheppey. Its name deriving from early historic times when sheep farming was extensive on the island.

The Island is some 11miles (25kms) x 9 miles (20kms). As you travel over the River Swale from the mainland, one of the first things you can view is a range of hills running along the middle of the island, surrounded at the front and each side by an "apron" of flat land, mainly marsh, much of which is below sea-level.

The Island has always been an Island of contrasts.

Historically the Western end of the island with its naval dockyard, sea faring, related industries and trade. Its commerce making it a thriving area. The Eastern end of the island is rural farming, mainly sheep grazing along with arable farming, amongst a scattering of small villages.

Even today the contrasts still exist although updated due to modern day changes. The Western end of the island no longer a naval dockyard, but a successful commercial port (Port of Sheerness), due to the utilisation of its deep water berths which enable it to accommodate the larger modern ships at all times.

It is one of the largest major foreign car importers in the UK. In addition it handles thousand of tonnes of fruits and meat products from all over the world from faraway places as South Africa and New Zealand. Industries involved in pharmaceuticals and steel production, have established themselves in the area taking advantage of this location which has very low land costs and good infrastructure.

The Eastern end of the island (Leysdown), is no longer pure farming, the changing times make it the largest attraction in Kent for people wishing to have holiday homes in Kent during the summer.

This tourism market has brought substantial financial benefits to the local community. The Eastern end of the Island now has holiday activity which was historically only found at Sheerness. The tourism has allowed a number of small family business's to develop such as bakeries, restaurants, amusement arcades.

The aim of this site is actually also one of contrast.

We not only wish to bring "visitors" from all over the world the opportunity to discover more about this Island, its facilities, background information and its place in history. We also wish this site to be informal, informative and current. Where local people can obtain an array of useful relevant information in a straightforward manner, relating to local contacts, businesses, services and political issues and for this to be used as many times during the day as any general household appliance such as a telephone or even a kettle.

The biggest boost we as designers and contributors for this site could expect would be when local residents (swampies - with affection), feel the urge to look further into the site. In particular at the information and facts which are specifically presented for outside visitors interests (non-swampies - but still with affection) and the same vice-versa.

We would appreciate it if you could acknowledge your visit to our site, via e-mail, along with any constructive comments.

We trust that you will enjoy our presentation.

Best wishes

From the Sheerness Community Learning Centre

[home] [history] [location] [culture] [amenities] [links] [gallery] [SCLC]