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This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Monday, 2 April 2018

Easter Monday - Double Bill: East London Short Walks --- Dagenham Parks, Rivers and Ponds [New Walk] [Walk-Check]

Length: 10.1 km (6.3 mi) [shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  negligible
Net Walking Time: ca. 2 ¼ hours

Arrive at Dagenham East station for a 10.30 start. Dagenham East is in Zone 5, on the District Line to Upminster. Journey time from Aldgate East is 32 minutes, from Victoria 49 minutes. You can shave off a few minutes by taking mainline trains from Fenchurch Street (or from Limehouse or West Ham) to Barking for part of the journey.

This is an exploration of several linked green areas in an otherwise densely populated East London suburb, leading through some Local Nature Reserves, two Country Parks, an ex-landfill site and ex-quarry, a river floodplain and along the recently restored beds of the Wantz Stream and the Beam and Rom Rivers.
This walk has a large variety of landscapes, from acid grassland, fenland and woodland to marshland and sandy shrubland via woods and a tranquil meandering valley.

Beam Parklands provides functional flood prevention and public open space for the community, while the Beam Valley Country Park was formerly derelict land after having been partly worked for gravel, leaving a wide diversity of habitats, with wet and dry grassland, tall herbs and scrub, and one small area of willow woodland, a scarce habitat in London. The Chase Local Nature Reserve has large areas of marshland and contains 6 of only 600 mature female Black Poplar trees left in the UK as well as a fenced off Bird Sanctuary (The Slack). Eastbrookend Country Park, now an interesting, undulating landscape, was formerly a gravel quarry then a dumping ground for the rubble left over from the blitz.

A shortcut at the northerly end of the walk reduces the length by 2.3 km.

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.
Lunch:  The Pipe Major, at the end, just beyond Dagenham East station. T=short.33

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to Thomas G for devising and posting this Double Bill,
a great idea.
The time and effort taken to research and plan them is very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

A double bill - what a good idea:it is a fairly under-explored and unappreciated part of London but accessible by tube. It also suits shorter and longer walk-lovers, so what's not to like. Also, coming belatedly to the table on the "paper instructions vs gpx" debate, I'd like to add my appreciation of the downloadable paper version. They contain so much interesting detail, I always use the paper version. I'm aware that a huge amount of effort and research by walk posters goes into devising new walks - numerous recce visits, internet and book research on local history, and on flora/fauna etc. This is obviously all done in the walk poster's own time and at their own personal expense. You are all appreciated. Thanks also to walk posters who keep the existing walks updated. SWC - what a gem.

Yas said...

Hi, we'll meet you at Dagenham east if that's ok?

Thomas G said...

That's the plan: 10.30 at Dagenham East. See you there.

Yas said...

After all that we won't make it annoyingly... weather too grim

James Hunt said...

Great day nice to meet everyone. Feet are a little sore but we'll worth it. Really enjoyed the upminster tap room bar.
Hope to join you on another walk.
All the best Jim.

Thomas G said...

n=16 walkers (incl. 2 local first-timers) in w=mostly-dry-with-some-drizzle-near-the-end weather.
The overnight deluge on already sodden ground meant that the notoriously muddy bit in The Chase LNR was now very muddy indeed and also waterlogged, and probably a bit more energy-draining than some had hoped for. The Beam/Rom River also was full to bursting and running with considerable pace, making the north easterly part of the route quite special (a muddy, brown, gurgling and gushing stream racing through the oxbows of this re-naturalised stretch of The Rom).
The Flora was still a bit bleak with little signs of spring, but the many ponds (mostly fishing, plus one or two bird sanctuaries) added some variety. At the end about half the group went to The Pipe Major for lunch: a brewery owned pub with an impressively slick operation.
All in, a pretty varied walk in the midst of a densely populated area. We'll be back one summer evening...