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Gunpowder Park


Grid ref: TQ 382 992 (click for o/s map)

Updated 04/11/2019

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This country park opened in 2004, much of it created on reclaimed land previously used for testing munitions.

Much of the current wildlife interest lies in Sewardstone Marsh. This is wet woodland that regenerated naturally on pulverised fuel ash dumped into holes created by the extraction of sand and gravel. Over the years a tangle of dense woodland has formed, with a variety of willow species. In winter it attracts snipe, and flocks of wintering thrushes and large mixed tit flocks sometimes move through. With lots of dead wood and several shallow ponds it is good for invertebrates and amphibians also.

The Cattlegate Flood Relief Channel flows down the western boundary and to the north the Black Ditch, formerly used to transport goods into and out of the ordnance factory. These are densely vegetated and populated by water voles. Reed buntings, sedge warblers and reed warblers nest here.

Meadows have been created on the reclaimed land to the north, with areas of wild flowers and groups of trees, and 80 acres are arable farmland


The main entrance is on the Sewardstone Road (A112), south of the roundabout junction with the A121, south of Waltham Abbey. There are several 24-hour pedestrian and cycle route access points. SatNav: EN9 3GP.

The nearest train station is Enfield Lock, 15 minutes' walk away. Bus route 550 from Chingford station to Harlow runs along Sewardstone Road past the main entrance.

Accessible at all times.

Winter for birds; late spring through the summer for wetland wildlife.

The main pathways are wheelchair accessible

Web www.gunpowderpark.org.

Photo © Alan Williams