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Foulness Island is a small Parish in the east of the area covered by Rochford District Council
Foulness Island is predominantly farmland and is protected from the sea by a sea wall. The island's unusual name is derived from the Old English for wild birds and promontory, and it is an internationally important site for migrating and breeding birds, including avocets. During the North Sea flood of 1953, almost the entire island was flooded, and two people died.
Prior to 1922, when the military road was built, the only access was across the Maplin Sands via the Broomway, a tidal path said to predate the Romans, or by boat. Although public rights of way exist, the island is run by QinetiQ on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, and access to the island is only permitted with a pass, obtainable from Shoeburyness. The island's visitor centre is opened to the public on the first Sunday in summer months, but permission must be sought to visit. Until 2007, members of the public could visit the island's pub by telephoning ahead; if they had not done so, access would be denied.