Thames Chase Forest Centre
Grid ref: TQ 583 862 (click for o/s map)
Mouse over links for pictures; click for detail page.
This former arable farm is now the headquarters of the Thames Chase Trust. New woodlands have been planted over much of the site, and its broad rides and occasional glades have been sown with a grass and wildflower mix. There are two ponds, one with a hide and one a dipping platform, and a network of paths, most of them fully accessible.
Such a large site should develop a great deal of wildlife interest as it matures. Already skylarks nest in the open grassland, and birds such as green woodpecker, yellowhammer and willow warbler in the young woodland. Water voles occupy the stream along the southern boundary, a tributary of the Mardyke.
The visitor centre, next to the farm buildings which include a traditional Essex barn dating from the 17th century, has displays, a cafe and gift shop.
The main entrance is off Pike Lane, a narrow lane running south from St Mary's Lane (B187) about a mile east of Upminster centre.
Upminster station is about 20 minutes' walk.
Accessible at all times via public footpaths; vehicle access 8.30am to dusk. Forest Centre open 10am – 5pm (4 pm in winter) every day.
Call the Forest Centre on (01708) 642970