Two Mills

Independent Adult Education

Chelmsford, Essex

Essex Countryside & Wildlife Course BLOG :

Welcome to my blog as the Tutor of

Essex Countryside & Wildlife Course


I'm ROGER TABOR, and this blog is to give a flavour of the activities on the course. What does it cover?


Everything about the history & wildlife of Essex & its countryside!


Every evening & every year of the course is different as we follow an ever changing range of topics.


I note here some of the things we have looked at!


When you get to the bottom of a page, to see more click on 'older' for earlier posts on other topics.

By Roger Tabor, Aug 1 2018 01:21PM

AAfter a great lunch at the Red Lion at Kirby le Soken, we headed south to Great Holland Hall where our tutor Roger Tabor talked about the buildings, & former farmer Charles Hick's C19 diary which covered the era of the 1930 "Swing Riots" which involved Gt & L Holland & Kirby le Soken as well as other places across the S & E. Threshing machines were destroyed as a reaction to mechanisation & a number of factors affecting agricultural workers livelyhoods. The Hall was also subsequently significant for Mr Hick's daughter in law Lilian Hicks b 1853 & her daughter Amy b 1877 were active in Women's Suffrage.

By Roger Tabor, Aug 1 2018 12:59PM

Stepped back into the world of Arthur Ransome's "Secret Water", the really charming old thatched pilot's cottage & the Quay which Ransome dubbed 'Witch's Cottage' & 'Witch's Quay'. We were lucky to arrive to a low tide sea-mist across Kirby Creek & Horsey Mere giving what we could glimpse of Horsey Island an ethereal view. Wonderfully atmospheric. Ransome dubbed the Mere 'the Red Sea' as he had the youngsters marooned in the middle of 'the Wade' with incoming tide.

By Roger Tabor, Aug 1 2018 12:42PM

Coach pick up at Writtle, then first stop the impressive Norman Great Clacton Church, large due to Richard de Belmais Bishop of London 1108-27, wide pilaster responds, the bases of vaulting ribs in the nave reveal it was formerly vaulted like Copford Church [also was under the Bishops of London). Thich walls, deeply recessed large windows, important church. Pict of Roger Tabor talking about the large external corresponding flat butresses.

By Roger Tabor, Aug 23 2017 05:25PM

This amazing course of the history & wildlife of Essex has been running for almost 40 years now, so many people have been enjoying it over the years. If you want to know more about the history & wildlife in this fantastic county of Essex Enrol now as the new term starts on 2nd October. Details on this website. Contact via the email page or ring.

By Roger Tabor, Aug 23 2017 05:15PM

A real treat to walk in the dappled light of this ancient woodland & to find a great range of wild flowers, including ones such as Hedge Woundwort, which as its name implies was used in the past to treat wounds by village herbalists. Beautiful Labiate flowers with beetroot & cream colours in matched swirls.

By Roger Tabor, Aug 23 2017 05:06PM

We visited this important ancient wood on chalky boulder clay in NW Essex in early June 2017, delighted to spot significant Essex plants, Crested Cow Wheat & Herb Paris among others. The wood is still coppice managed (today by EWT) as it has been for centuries. [Many on the course are EWT members].

By Roger Tabor, Aug 23 2017 04:53PM

What a great pub at Wendens Ambo, Essex, - Bell inn, its timber beams still topped by boards. From a puddle in the car park we watched a busy group of house martins in action! We are surrounded by great history & wildlife views at every turn!