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Foulness Island

Foulness is the largest Essex island and the fourth largest island off the coast of England.

The landscape is coastal marsh, flat with occasional scrub and low growing trees. Two villages, Churchend and Courtsend are located in the north of the island. These villages make up 83 dwellings and are home to around 200 people.

For many years Foulness was controlled by the military, and used as a proving ground for munitions. In 2003, QinetiQ was awarded a contract to conduct this work and although the Ministry of Defence still owns of the island, access is controlled through QinetiQ.

Large areas of the island are farmed and there is a long established and close-knit community. In earlier times, however, things were very different. Evidence exists to show that there was once a Romano British settlement here. Much later the area was a notorious smuggling centre.

WarningPlease Note: Foulness Island is a restricted access area to the public. Before attempting to visit, please check details with the Parish Clerk.

Did you know?

Foulness and the adjoining Maplin Sands are internationally famous as a haven for wildlife. It has the second largest colony of Avocet birds and is a winter home for thousands of wading birds and Brent Geese.