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More About Isle of Sheppey

When Derek was campaigning to win the new seat before May 1997, he made three promises to the electorate should he win:

To move to the constituency which his family did in October 1997; to win a new £13 million community hospital, which after some false starts, he achieved and Sheppey's new hospital was opened in September 2002 and to make sure a new bridge was included in the first 40 schemes announced in July 1998 (which it was). The new bridge £100 million bridge was opened to acclaim in July 2006.

The Isle of Sheppey is predominantly rural, containing the largest area of wetland in the UK. The Island also contains the docks at Sheerness, the fifth busiest port in the country. Sheppey is steeped in history - Henry VIII had his honeymoon with Anne Boleyn at Shurland Hall and Queenborough (named after Queen Phillipa) once had a sizeable castle.

Sheppey's northern and eastern edge is lined with good beaches, including a naturist stretch at Shellness. Sea views are splendid towards Whitstable in one direction and the Essex coast in the other. Most of Britain's imported cars and fresh fruit arrive via Sheerness docks, so there's usually a large vessel coming or going to watch too.

Birds love this nine miles by four island too. At the Royal Society for Protection of Birds site at Elmley Marshes are hides from which you can watch visiting or resident water birds. Don't miss the Swale National Nature Reserve on the southern tip of the island either.

Sheerness, "Capital" of Sheppey, had a long naval tradition until the base closed in 1965. Pepys came here and this is where they brought Nelson's body after Trafalgar. Visit the Sheerness Heritage Centre and whilst in the area enjoy a walk around Bluetown, named for the old habit of occupants decorating their homes with the blue paint they'd stolen from their employer, the Admiralty. Stroll the curved high street with its distinctive clock.

Derek Wyatt TV Website