Friday 13 October 2023




Dogger Bank, outlined in red

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Dogger sea area of the BBC Radio 4 Shipping Forecast takes its name from the Dogger Bank, a large sandbank lying 62 miles (100 kilometres) off the east coast of England in the North Sea. It covers an area about 6,800 square miles (17,600 square kilometres) and measures 160 by 60 miles (260 by 100 km)

The water over the Dogger Bank is about 65 feet (20 m) shallower than the surrounding sea. During the last ice age, 115000 – 117,000 years ago, the bank was part of a large landmass connecting the British Isles to mainland Europe. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 6500-6200 BCE and has remained submerged.

Now called Doggerland, after the mediaeval Dutch cod-fishing boats called doggers, it has been known to generations of fishermen as a rich fishing area, particularly for cod and herring. In the Netherlands it is called Doggersbank, the Danish call it Doggerbanke and to the Germans it is Doggerbank.

Fishing trawlers occasionally dredge up interesting artefacts, which have included mammoth and rhinoceros remains and Palaeolithic hunting weapons.

In 1931 an earthquake occurred below the bank. It was the strongest earthquake recorded in the UK, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale. It was felt throughout the UK, Belgium and France, and caused damage in Eastern England, in the form of chimneys collapsing and the spire of a church in Filey being twisted. 

The Dogger Bank has been the scene of many shipwrecks.  On 14th September, 1966, one of the worst peacetime disasters in German history occurred when the German submarine, Hai, foundered during a gale. Of the 20 crewmen only one survived.  Five days later, she was raised from 154 feet (47m) of water and broken up.

In January 2010, at the beginning of the 21st century, a licence was granted to develop a wind farm on the Dogger Bank. After several delays, construction began in 2020 with a proposed completion date of 2026. The Dogger Bank Wind Farm, the largest in the world, is a collection of four offshore wind farms, expected to construct 277 turbines with the capability of producing enough power to service six million homes.

Two days ago, on October 10th, the first turbine to begin working started producing electricity for the UK National Grid. Only 276 to go!

There are several offshore wind farms already operating in UK waters. A casual onlooker could be forgiven for thinking the Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a unique concept.


  1. I can barely make out Doggerbank in the picture. I'd love to see some of the Mammoth and Paleolithic remains. Cod and herring are two of my favourite fish types, though I don't like the smoked versions. I buy tinned herrings in tomato sauce which I spread on toast for winter lunches.

    1. A fisherman's life is an interesting one. Some very odd things turn up in their nets.

  2. Didn't know about the origin of the name is from boats - interesting.
    Off Felixstowe on a fine days you can see dozens of turbines offshore

  3. The size of the individual blades is astounding.

  4. I'd never heard of Dogger Bank, so that was another interesting read.
    277 turbines is quite mind-boggling. These offshore wind farms are the way forward, although they'd typically get quite a bit of opposition here in Belgium ... xxx

  5. They do look quite alien but they're just a modern interpretation of windmills. x x x

  6. Interestingly I read a book last year called Doggerland by Ben Smith that (appears) to be about a wind farm on the Dogger Bank, set some time in the future where it is in decay and about the men who are conscripted to maintain it, slightly surreal and dystopian.

  7. Interesting, though I'm not very keen on dystopia at the moment - there's too much gloom in the world at present.


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