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Top 6 Brentwood dogwalks

PUBLISHED: 11:16 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:03 11 August 2020

Saint Faith's Country Park behind the BT building between Honeypot Lane and Weald Road. Picture: Carla Varma

Saint Faith's Country Park behind the BT building between Honeypot Lane and Weald Road. Picture: Carla Varma

Carla Varma

With social distancing here for a while, what better opportunity for you and your furry companions to get acquainted with Brentwood’s many nature reserves. Wheelchair-friendly paths, routes with rich history and butterfly meadows and all recommended by locals - here’s our pick of Brentwood’s best dog walking routes.

The butterfly meadow in Merrymeade forest. Picture: Wanda CrookThe butterfly meadow in Merrymeade forest. Picture: Wanda Crook

With social distancing here for a while, what better opportunity for you and your furry companions to get acquainted with Brentwood’s many nature reserves. Wheelchair-friendly paths, routes with rich history and butterfly meadows and all recommended by locals - here’s our pick of Brentwood’s best dog walking routes.

Saint Faith’s country park

Or “the fields behind the BT building”, between Honeypot Lane and Weald Road is a favourite for dog walkers. With six fields to explore, it also has dog bins and a shallow stream. Recommended by many in the area, resident Carla Varma says: “You wouldn’t know if you didn’t live there!”

Herongate and Hutton fields

Herongate fields. Picture: Carol AllenHerongate fields. Picture: Carol Allen

Hutton and Herongate villages have a rich history, diverse nature and many routes and access points. Starting from Hutton side, there is a small car park with the church in front. Follow Church Lane to your left and continue around the corner where the first fingerpost can be seen. As you follow the footpath across fields there are views to Little Burstead.

After turning right at the next waymarker, you will reach Creasey’s Farm and then pass Primstock Wood where the shorter route turns off right to go along to Bladen’s Wood, Hall Wood and back to the Church.

The longer route continues alongside Little Bladen’s Wood which is an old coppiced hornbeam woodland. Continue on this path and turn right along a track when you reach the footpath sign heading for Heron Hall. For a run around the reservoirs, start at the Herongate side up to Ingrave.

The Old Park

Thorndon Country Park. Picture: Carol AllenThorndon Country Park. Picture: Carol Allen

Contrary to its name, this is newly planted woodland with hedgerows and open grassland is perfect for a run around with children and dogs.

The Woodland Trust acquired the former farmland site in 1992, as one of its “Plant-a-Wood” sites. The complete path is 2.5km with parking and amenities available at Thorndon Country Park South.

Hartswood

Saint Faith's Country Park. Picture: Carla VarmaSaint Faith's Country Park. Picture: Carla Varma

Written records show this 73 acre “ancient woodland” dates back to at least the 7th century when it was owned by Barking Abbey.

Find old oaks, chestnuts and hornbeam trees above a carpet of bluebells. And with King George V Playing fields just adjacent and Shenfield Common close by, this spot has plenty to choose from.

Parking can be found at The Drive Car Park off Eagle Way.

Merrymeade country park

Designed to be accessible for electric scooters, wheelchairs and pushchairs during the summer, wide surfaced paths guide you through the woodland.

The shortest route (marked purple, one of three routes) takes 20 minutes and opens up into a butterfly meadow. The longest ( black route) takes 45 minutes.

Ingatestone and Mountnessing

The farmland snuggled between Ingatestone and Mountnessing offers some great views for a longer walk with bigger dogs.

From Ingatestone Hall, follow the footpath past the barns and witness a beautiful view as you head towards Buttesbury Church.

Upon reaching the River Wid turn right and as you walk along its banks, keep an eye out for Moorhens darting in and out of the reeds. Follow the path alongside the fields and hedges right down to Mountnessing Hall.

Parking at Ingatestone Hall or Mountnessing Postmill. The full circular walk is six and a half mix or five with a shorter loop. n

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