Recent outings and activities...
Mayes Brook and Parsloes Park Walk
A small group of us - Trevor, Cathy, Richard, Madeleine and myself - went on a 2 hour walk through Mayesbrook Park and Parsloes Park in Dagenham on Sunday 26th July. The walk had been postponed from Saturday due to rain. It nearly got called off again as there was a shower about an hour before we were due to meet.
Mayesbrook Park is set back from Longbridge Road in Dagenham next door to St Thomas More Catholic Church. You could easily miss the park if you didn't know it was there. I have been there several times and my favourite spot in the park is brook called Mayes Brook. It is very clear and you can see to the bottom unless it has been raining and it is running much faster and churns up the mud, etc. Who would have thought there could be such beauty in Dagenham? The brook feeds into one of the lakes in the park when there's been a lot of rain and it starts to overflow. There are areas called swales that have been dug in the ground to take up extra rainwater to prevent flooding. I believe it is an area of SSSI. The route of the brook was changed a few years ago to stop flooding in the local area and also to create a marshy area. There is a North Lake and a South Lake, the North Lake being the larger of the two and which has some tree covered islands in it on which the geese and ducks nest. Sadly at the moment quite a bit of the lakes have green algae growing on them which is probably due to visitors feeding the birds with bread etc.
We walked around the right hand side of the South Lake as there are some very nice weeping willow trees at its edge, and we spotted a grey heron and a cormorant, which Cathy said looked rather like a periscope moving around in the water before it ducked down to catch fish. This part of the park is bordered by the C2C and District railway lines.
We left Mayesbrook Park at Lodge Avenue, crossed over the road and walk down Porters Avenue and entered Parsloes Park. This park was not as big, but had a small lake, a rose garden and several play areas for the children. We did a circular walk around the park - which covers quite a large area - and then returned to Mayesbrook Park and walked round the other side of that park, passing the sports centre, the velodrome which was used in 2012 Olympics, Dagenham Football Club and saw a cricket match going on just outside the cricket pavilion. We made a hasty retreat as there were very black clouds looming and chance of quite heavy rain! Trevor and I had both walked to the park and were keen to get home before the heavens opened! All in all it was a pleasant afternoon and so nice to get out and about again. Trevor checked on his smartphone for the distance we had covered and was surprised to find we had walked about 4.5 miles. Getting ourselves in training for when we can do our 6 or 7 miles or more walks with EFOG!
Ann W. 27th July 2020
Walk in Felsted Area
It was rather nice to wake up on Saturday 7th March to sunshine for a change, as the last few weeks have been rain, rain, rain.
So, 10 of us: Ann Walden (our walk leader for the day), Amina, Bernie, Cathy and Richard, Eileen, Lynne, Madeleine, Trevor and Val met up in the Wood Cottage Tea Rooms in Felsted and thus fortified with the necessary teas and coffees set off for an anticipated 6 to 6.5 mile walk.
Easier said than done, as due to the aforementioned rain the first couple of miles around and across open farmland were really wet and muddy and quite hard going.
The scenery however more than compensated the heavy muddy boots, and once we reached what is now known as The Flitch Way we were then walking along the bed of the old railway (long since closed) and continued passing what is left of Felsted Station, which was in the process of being converted to a private house. The new owners can't have been impressed as their efforts have been rewarded by persons unknown who had smashed almost every window.
We then continued and took a small detour to see Felstead Water Mill. The water was in full flow and quite impressive.
Back then to the Wood Cottage Tea Rooms, from where we began the walk, for a spot of lunch – for a small place the food was lovely and really well presented. (would recommend anyone to go to Felsted just for that experience).
A very pleasant day all round, thank you Ann for leading.
Val. 7th March 2020
Barnes Wetland Centre
Who would have thought that Sunday 1st March would have been such a sunny day after the week we had. Only Lynne joined us at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust's Barnes Wetland Centre on a glorious, but cold, day.
We started our wandering on the West Route with a visit to the just-fed otters which were, as expected, very cute. This route takes you through the Wetlands of the World, showing a collection of about 40 species of birds which were bred and raised in captivity. This has helped save some of these birds from extinction. Because many of these birds were used to people they took no notice of you walking near them and it was great to see them really close.
On our way around the West Route we went into a couple of hides overlooking the main lake with many ducks, geese, and gulls to observe. At one we saw a small island with dozens of sunbathing cormorants on it and nine herons spread amongst them who would every now then have a short punch up and then settle back down again.
After lunch we took the South Route, which would be very colourful in the summer as there were many wild flower gardens, but were now just starting to show spring flowers. We worked our way around to the Peacock Tower which not only overlooks the main lake, but also the Grazing Marsh and Water Scrape.
Peter & Maz Gamble, 4th March 2020
Bethnal Green to Stratford walk
Seventeen members of the group met at Bethnal Green on the 1st February, and viewed some of the interesting highlights of the area before heading into Victoria Park and onto the Regent's Canal. Following the canal southwards, we made our way down to Limehouse Basin and then onto the Limehouse Cut, arriving at Three Mills before travelling onto The Greenway. We finished the walk through the daffodils edging the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park paths to the end of the walk in Stratford.
The walk was approximately 6 miles in all, with sunshine for most of the walk and the wind picking up at the tail end.
Sue. S., 1st February 2020
Epping Forest Bike Ride
Three of us met up on Sunday 15th December at the Golf Club Café on Bury Road in Chingford to take part in the Epping Forest Bike Ride. We were really lucky as the weather was very kind to us – dry, mild and sunny which is a great improvement on the recent stormy and windy weather. I did wear a silly Santa Hat on my helmet to add a bit of festivity to the ride.
We had a quick hot drink at the café and then set out on the tracks around Epping Forest, doing a sort of figure of eight ride crossing the Epping New Road a couple of times and going through High Beach twice – although I only allowed a Tea Hut break on the way back. We went past the Big View (with a quick photo stop) and up around (what I call) the Theydon Loop. We then came back round to the Tea Hut for a well-earned break. The forest looked lovely in the winter sunshine and it was very enjoyable (if a little bit wet in places). We returned to Chingford in just under 3 hours. Thanks for the company Jill and Ian.
Last month (on 23rd November) we met up at the same place (The Golf Club Café) for the ‘Rodings Rally Memorial Walk’. The venue was chosen as that was our usual meeting place for Check Point Plotting and the date as that would have been the date of the Rodings Rally if we had been doing one this year. Sixteen of us set off on the walk and we didn’t lose Fred! In fact he was up at the front most of the time. I had to apologise to our walkers for the rather wet feet they suffered crossing the bottom of Chingford Plains near the start, it was much wetter than I thought it would be, but we kept to the tracks after that. We did about 7-8 miles in the end, but in a decent time, including a stop at High Beach Tea Hut.
Lynne Edmond, 16th December 2019
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