The Climate at Goldhanger and around the Blackwater

The climate on the Essex costal region and around the Blackwater Estuary is notable different to the majority of the UK and even other parts of Essex. Being on the east coast with prevailing westerly winds, and low land, cloud thickness and rainfall are on average very low, resulting in sunshine levels that on average are higher. This meteorological phenomena is known as the rain shadow effect...

Extensive national and regional data is available from the UK Met.Office showing the history and variations in climate across the UK over many years, and this data has been interpreted here to demonstrate its significance for this coastal region...

rainfall levels

sunshine levels

These maps reveal that the immediate vicinity of the Blackwater has the combination of both very low rainfall and high levels of sunshine, comparable to the south coast. The two driest places in the UK are recorded as St Osyth and Shoeburyness, both on the Essex coast. The two driest gardens in the UK open to the public are Beth Chatto's Garden at Elmstead Market and RHS Hyde Hall, again both in Essex. The total annual rainfall recorded near Goldhanger in 2013 was 51.7cm. Here are some average annual rainfalls in centimetres from the Met. Office website as a comparison:

St Osyth













National and regional weather forecasters sometimes say " ..and it will be drier on the east coast", but more often say "..and it will be cooler on the east coast". However, the average temperature maps available and summarised below show that both the summer and winter temperatures along our part of the Essex coast are not significantly different to those along the south coast...

average summer temperatures

average winter temperatures

An additional and very noticeable effect on the east coast is the frequent sunny mornings which are a another consequence of the rain shadow effect. This diagram shows the what happens as the sun rises from the east and meets the clouds coming from the south-west at around midday...

Farmers and gardeners know that coastal areas benefit from the moderating effect of the warmer sea in winter months, which is another meteorological phenomena known as Maritime or Marine Influence, and large estuaries such as the Blackwater bring that effect further inland. Crops located near the estuary, such as the orchards once all around Goldhanger, were, and still, are less likely to suffer from frost damage. In addition, there is the temperature effect of differing altitudes, giving a average reduction in ambient temperature of about 2 degrees centigrade for each 100 metres of elevation and making the low lying coastal region slightly warmer on average than just a few miles inland.

The favourable climate had and does have significant benefits on several products and features in the area, including...

Salt extraction in the Blackwater Salt extraction - at Longwick Maldon Crystal Salt Co. Longwick Farm

Oyster cultivation in the Blackwater

Charles Page's orchards in Church St. and Fruitfields apple orchards on the Little Totham Rd

S.S.Wilkin at Bounds Farm and Wilkin & Sons - products

North Maldon Growers sweetcorn, pumpkins, Crown Prince squashes & courgettes

Leisure activities on the Blackwater and Millbeach & Hotel

 Walnut trees in the village


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