New series of forest walks launch this weekend with trek through Thurrock green spaces

  Posted: 04.10.21 at 19:01 by The Editor

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A NEW rural walk will be launched this coming weekend, with several stretches across Thurrock.

A 43 mile 'Forest Circle' of eight linear paths has been mapped by the Thames Chase Volunteer walks team in partnership with the Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme.

The partnership, which includes a number of local authorities including Thurrock Council, brings people together with a commitment to a shared goal of discovering, restoring and enjoying what is special about the local landscape and focuses on the natural, archaeological and built heritage of the area.

The Forest Circle will launch with a special walk event open to all on Saturday (9 October). Visitors can join the group walking Section Three of the Forest Circle between West Horndon station, along the River Mardyke to North Stifford Bridge. The six and a half mile walk, led by Ian Seabrook, starts at 10.30am, and is anticipated to last approximately around three and a half hours.

The vision of the Forest Circle originated over 30 years ago, when the Community Forest was first established in 1990, with a principal aim to promote informal access to all regenerated areas on foot, cycle and horse. The vision was to create an improved rights of way network, particularly footpaths, designed to meet the needs of residents, visitors and landowners.

A strategic network of recreational routes – referred to as Greenways in the Thames Chase Plan - aimed to integrate the safe use of the forest by all local communities and improved connections between public transport networks and the forest’s wide variety of landscapes on foot, bike and horse, and to create wildlife corridors. These aims remain as important now as they were in 1990.

The concept of the ‘Forest Circle’ originated as the core of the Greenway network, comprising more than 40 miles encircling and connecting the major areas of the Community Forest.

Many other walking routes have also been mapped by the team to create further long distance Greenway routes through and around the Thames Chase area, along with new circular leisure routes of varying distance.

In the longer term, Thames Chase Trust aims to provide a fully integrated safe system of Greenway links, hubs and gateways to the landscape whilst maintaining private access rights and linking with public transport services.

Mary Wright, Co-Chair of the Trust says: “The forest circle has been a long term aim for Thames Chase that has been achieved by a dedicated team of volunteers who are to be congratulated in producing a set of clear and informative walks guides.”

The Forest Circle launch walk event is open to all and participation is through a £3 donation to attend. To book your space Click this link. . If you can’t attend or would like to find out more, the eight Forest Circle Walks leaflets, produced in partnership with Land of the Fanns, can be found at the Thames Chase Forest Centre in Upminster.

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