Grid ref: TQ 565 825 (click for o/s map)
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Belhus Woods country park is a former deer park, landscaped by Capability Brown in the mid-18th century. The main part, to the east of Romford Road, contains ancient woodland, grassland, and five lakes that were created by gravel extraction and added to the country park later. More land surrounding the park has been added to it recently, some of which is being planted with trees and some kept as hay meadows.
With such a variety of habitats the park is rich in wildlife. Brick Kiln Wood with its streams and ponds, dug to extract clay for brickmaking, is alive with insects in summer, as are the meadows nearby. The hazel in Running Water Wood is coppiced to produce timber for thatching and hurdle-making, and the clearings are full of wild flowers, including early purple orchids and ragged robin. Great crested grebes, little grebes and mute swan usually breed on the lakes
Accessed from Romford Road north of Aveley. From Upminster follow Corbets Tey Road (B1421) south, turn right on to Harwood Hall Lane at the Huntsman & Hounds PH, then first left on to Aveley Road which runs straight on into Romford Road.
No. 373 buses from Romford to Grays via Upminster station pass the main entrance. Upminster rail and tube station is about 3 miles from the park.
Open 8 am until dusk all the year round. Visitor Centre open 10 am –5 pm at weekends and 1 pm–4 pm on Wednesdays from April to October.
May–July for birdsong, butterflies and dragonflies. Choose a day with a westerly breeze to carry away the noise from the nearby M25.
Disabled parking area near the lakes.
Call the Rangers on 01708 865628 for more information or details of activities.