215ac/87ha SSSI (part)
Grid ref: TQ 435 912 (click for o/s map)
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Claybury Park occupies the south-facing slopes of a ridge east of Woodford Bridge. It includes parkland associated with Claybury Hall and ancient woodland formerly in the grounds of Claybury Hospital. From high on the slope there are spectacular views over East London, Docklands and the Kent hills.
The parkland design was influenced by Humphry Repton, who lived not far away in Romford. Several historic landscape features have survived, including Cocked Hat Plantation (a linear woodland of oak, birch and hornbeam), Ash Plantation (dense elm scrub with mature oak and grey poplar – no ash!) and Egg Clump (oak, ash and hawthorn).
The western part of the ancient woodland, Claybury Wood, contains many ancient hornbeam coppice stools and pollard oaks and is carpeted with bluebells and wood anemones in spring. It also has many wild service trees, butchers broom and broad-leaved helleborine orchids. Hospital Hill Wood to the east is a fine woodland dominated by oak.
The soils are varied and this makes for variety in the grassland plants. These support a variety of the commoner grassland butterflies, including small heath.
Just east of Woodford Bridge. Take Fulwell Avenue west from the Fulwell Cross roundabout (A123), or leave the M11/North Circular Road (A406) at their junction and follow Southend Road (A1400) east, turning left into Roding Lane North. On-street parking. SatNav: IG5 0XH.
Fairlop tube station (Central line) is on Forest Road about 100m east of Fulwell Cross. Turn right outside the station. Or train to Ilford then bus 169.
Daylight hours only.
Something of interest at all times of the year, but especially May for songbirds and July/August for grassland butterflies and other insects.
A good network of surfaced paths.