sandy shore

Freiston Shore

Freiston Shore is a village approximately 4 miles east of Boston, Lincolnshire. In Victorian times the village enjoyed a boom in visitors looking to enjoy the healthy unindustrialised atmosphere of the area. The Plummers Arms, closed for many years, was the hotel at that time.


In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Freiston's sandy shore on The Wash was developed as a sea bathing resort. By the mid-nineteenth century, there were horse races on the beach and other attractions. However, the process of coastal accretion proceeded and salt marsh developed, leaving the few hotels without customers. Since the mid twentieth century, more marsh has been enclosed behind sea banks for use as arable land.

During the Second World War defences were constructed around Freiston Shore as a part of British anti-invasion preparations of World War II. A number of pillboxes, gun emplacements and coastal lights were constructed.

Following World War II, land reclamation led to the village being inland by about 1/2 mile. You can still still see the original sea bank with its pillboxes and some of the Freiston shore light railway. A direct path from the village to the marsh on The Wash still exists.

Sea defence policy

In 2000 the process was reversed a little when part of the sea bank was breached and the land behind opened to the tides. This was part of a relatively new policy of managed realignment, which saw the making of three deliberate breaches of the old sea bank. This took the pressure off the remaining sea defences, with the aim of prolonging their life, while the 66 hectares of tidal saltmarsh which is re-establishing itself helps soak up wave energy, acting as a further sea defence.

Nature conservation

This new marsh, together with another, designed to be managed as a brackish marsh with lagoons, now forms an RSPB reserve. Freiston Shore is a good place for seeing avocets, redshanks, ringed plovers, wheatears and marsh harriers in spring and summer. In the autumn and winter, migrating waders such as redshanks, turnstones, dunlins, and waterfowl such as Dark-bellied Brent Goose, and wigeon can be seen.


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