This circular route takes in Weald Country Park and beautiful surrounding countryside. The walk may be started anywhere on route but at Weald Country Park there is good parking and a visitor centre. The walk is described in a clockwise direction beginning from Weald Country Park.
Weald Country Park is owned and run by Essex County Council, and is open for everyone to explore and enjoy. The park has a variety of landscape features, such as woodlands, lakes and remnants of deer pasture. The visitor centre has a good display showing the interesting history and wildlife of the park and there are also refreshments and toilets at this point.
Take the path down the hill to the lakes. Here you may see a variety of wildfowl including Mallards and Great Crested Grebes. Continue up through the grassland to the tree line and enjoy the views as you follow the waymarked track into the woods.
As you leave the woodlands of Weald Country Park you will be heading toward The Mores woodland. The Woodland Trust now owns this in order to safeguard it for the future. The first section comprises of mainly Birch and adjacent to the stream Alder is dominant with Yellow Pimpernel growing below. The central part is ancient Hornbeam Coppice, carpeted with Bluebells and Wood Anemones in the spring.
Shortly after leaving The Mores you will enter the Parish of Navestock. Navestock has many small woodlands which provide important habitats in an area dominated by arable fields. If you are quiet you may see wild Fallow deer browsing along the woodland edges, or look upwards for birds that use the trees for nesting or as song posts. In the summer months you should see plenty of insects, including butterflies that will feed on the flowering plants that grow along the field edges.
When you reach the road, cross over to walk around the green and then head back out into the fields. The walk will then take you down towards Bentley Church and Pilgrims Lane. This is an old route for Pilgrims on their way to Canterbury. Pilgrims Hatch and Pilgrims Hall were also names derived from these travellers.
Cross over Coxtie Green Road to re-enter Weald Country Park. Follow the woodland pathways out onto the open grass fields and back to the car park to finish the walk.
Editor's note: the GPX file and distance was updated on 23rd April 2021 to show the correct route and distance.
Editor's note: The correct route is in the link in the description above, but it seems that a few athletes have taken a longer route byt adding a loop in the midde.
The GPX file and distance was updated on 23rd April 2021 to show the correct route and distance.