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Chasing The Dagenham Brook, February 2012

reports of our walks

Tuesday 20 February was a calm, mild day with some sun.  We started by the Ive Farm sports ground, named as one of a number of open spaces in Waltham Forest to be campsites during the Olympic Games.  We puzzled over the new wide asphalted path beside the Dagenham Brook, until Laurie suggested that, with a bridge across the Brook, this could provide access to the campsite from Orient Way.  Within living memory the path beside the Brook reached Ruckholt Road.  The connection was lost because the former Leyton Borough Council was exempted from the requirement to keep a record of rights of way.

Walking along Hibbert Road gave us good views, side turning by side turning, of the increase in ground level from what had been marsh up to naturally firm ground at Markhouse Road.  Verulam Avenue took us to some remarkably secluded housing developments.  Someone spotted concrete posts left behind when a footpath out of Tudor Court was fenced off, another example of a lost right of way.

David struggled to explain the significance of Low Hall Manor House, its medieval foundations, moat and entry bridge supports uncovered, but now unmarked and obliterated.

In the nature reserve beside the Dagenham Brook (and also the projected temporary home to 5,000 campers) there was a wonderful patch of snowdrops catching sunlight through the trees.  A blue tit flashed in and out of cover.  At St James’ Park we heard, and then saw, a pair of greater spotted woodpeckers.  Roger pointed out a magnificent Black Poplar tree in the corner of the Park, as he had noticed another tall Black Poplar behind the Eton Manor running clubhouse.

We all agreed it had been an excellent walk.