Glen’s Commons Combination around Danbury – Sunday 3rd November

Story and pictures contributed by Christina.

Twelve of us met Glen at a car park in Danbury on a glorious autumn day. The sun was shining, two buzzards were circling nearby, and after the persistent and gusty winds and rain of the previous day it was a delight to explore this particular part of Essex near Chelmsford.

The route took us up and down the numerous inclines of Danbury Country Park with its three ornamental lakes where this photograph of colourful autumn trees and their reflections in the utterly tranquil water was taken.

We also encountered a surprisingly spacious and well preserved ice house dating from the 18th century with its ice chamber and dome made of red brick which is situated on the grounds of Danbury Palace.

The fact that Glen’s autumn amble followed paths across three commons would normally suggest many open land spaces. However, these were actually woodland areas abounding with ups-and-downs in what, by Essex standards, is a hilly area. Our group traversed parts of Danbury, Lingwood and Woodham Walter Commons. We then ventured briefly into Backwarden Nature reserve where in August and September lovely heathers attract walkers, and into the depths of Blake’s Wood with its ancient ferns the colours of which matched the autumn leaves.

Having walked around six miles or so, we stopped for lunch on a recreation ground and some of us went for a drink in the nearby Gardeners Arms Pub in Little Baddow.

This attractive walk of around 10 miles was skilfully planned by the IOG’s Mastermind of Multiple Meanders. It successfully aimed to please an audience of nature enthusiasts happy to drive a bit further, keen to explore the less known parts of East Anglia. Thank you Glen!

Mike E. was moved to add:

Glen’s walk was a delight on lovely autumnal day as we wandered through woods and common land around Danbury. It tested our fitness as the wooded areas all seemed to be on big hills which, combined with some slippery conditions underfoot, added to the ‘hardship’. Walking around the lakes was particularly refreshing as the trees were bathed in sunshine and putting on a splendid display of seasonal colour.

After the walk a few thirsty souls ended up in the Bell pub in Danbury. Here Simon recalled a dream he had had the previous night where Christina was apparently battling zombies and knocking them for six with her bare hands [that’s our Christina! – ed.].

It just goes to show what a multi-talented and varied group we are.

Thanks Glen for a great walk.