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Danbury Ridge Nature Trail

By Roger Jones

I had visited the Danbury Ridge Nature Reserves on a few occasions, and attempted to follow the Nature Trail. I quite enjoyed loosing the trail and getting lost, but thought it might be an interesting project to try and complete the trail in sequence and record it in geographs so that anyone visiting for the first time could find their way round.

Getting to the start
It might be helpful to print out a map of the walkTL7806 : Nature Trail Map by Roger Jones. The entrance is off Runsell Lane, Danbury, just opposite Simmonds Way TL7805 : Entrance to Danbury Ridge Nature Trail by Roger Jones. On entry to the reserve bear right and you will see an information board and the start of the trail.TL7805 : Trail Begins by Roger Jones.

On the trail
Following the signpost at the information board, it will be fairly easy to get to the first marker post TL7805 : Post 1, Nature Trail by Roger Jones. You carry on the same path, and after the trail veers a little to the left, you will come to a T junction at which you turn right, keep your eyes open for the small trail sign TL7805 : Turn Right for Nature Trail by Roger Jones.

You carry on down the hill past post (2) TL7805 : Post 2, Nature Trail by Roger Jones and keep your eye out for a bridge on your left TL7806 : Over bridge to Post 3 by Roger Jones. Just the other side of the bridge you will see (3).

From (3) you travel a short distance up a hill, turn right at the T junction
TL7806 : Turn right for Nature Trail by Roger Jones. Continue over another footbridge. On your left after the footbridge you will see (4) TL7806 : Post 4, Nature Trail by Roger Jones.

Carry on up the hill, and through the gates. You should see on your left the information board TL7806 : Information Board, Danbury Ridge Nature Trail by Roger Jones at junction of Postman's Lane and Firtree Lane.

The next stage is a little unusual in that you turn right to get to post (5) TL7806 : Post 5, Nature Trail by Roger Jones and then turn around and return to the information board, at which point you turn right (NW) to continue along Postman's lane.

Post (6) TL7806 : Post 6, Nature Trail by Roger Jones is a little further along Postman's lane. Continue along and keep your eyes open for this gate on your right TL7806 : The gate to Post 7 by Roger Jones , which will lead to to (7) TL7806 : Post 7, Nature Trail by Roger Jones.

The route to (8) is a little longer and more complex than some of the others. From (7) continue NE up and down a couple of small hills until you reach the boundary of Pheasanthouse Wood TL7806 : Turn left for Nature Trail by Roger Jones, then turn left. Continue down the hill until you see a bridge on your left TL7806 : Footbridge into Birch Wood by Roger Jones, at which you cross over into Birch Wood.

The section in Birch Wood is best thought of as a small circular tour. Once over the bridge, bear right and continue slightly uphill. Just after you reach post (8) TL7807 : Post 8, Nature Trail by Roger Jones the trail goes round in a loop and you return over the footbridge you crossed earlier.

Once over the bridge turn left (NE) and toward (9). Just in front of (9) you will see a trench TL7806 : Trench nr Post 9, Nature Trail by Roger Jones which has been dug to monitor the water levels.

The journey from (9) to (10) is possibly where you stand the greatest chance of getting lost. The route as a whole begins to turn back on itself, and the route marker at the junction where you turn sharp right has fallen over TL7907 : Fallen marker by Roger Jones.

As you begin to head uphill back to the origin, the way is quite well marked. As you progress you will merge onto couple of larger paths where eventually you will see TL7906 : Wooden stepping stones by Roger Jones. Shortly after this you will come to a Y junction, bear left and you will come to (10) TL7906 : Post 10, Nature Trail by Roger Jones. It is only a short distance from (10) to (11) TL7906 : Post 11, Restored clearing by Roger Jones.

The route from (11) to (12) is the longest one on the walk. The path is fairly easy to follow here; the next significant landmark are the bridges TL7906 : 2 Bridges by Roger Jones at the bottom of the hill, at which you will need to turn right along the brook. The path along the valley crosses a bridleway at this gate TL7906 : Fenced bridleway by Roger Jones, just after which you will arrive at (12) TL7906 : Post 12, Nature Trail by Roger Jones.

You will need to cross the brook TL7806 : Footbridge over stream by Roger Jones to get to (13) TL7806 : Post 13, Nature Trail by Roger Jones.

From (13), you carry on a short distance up the hill, where you turn right at the T junction to get to (14) TL7905 : Post 14, Nature Trail by Roger Jones.

When at (14), you are quite close to the entry point: bear right at the Y junction, along the route you will see some restored heathland, and the path merges with a WWII logging track. Keep to the right when the path narrows, and you will rejoin the footpath between (1) TL7805 : Post 1, Nature Trail by Roger Jones and (2) TL7805 : Post 2, Nature Trail by Roger Jones, and so back through Scrubbs Wood to the origin TL7805 : Entrance to Danbury Ridge Nature Trail by Roger Jones.

Most of the image descriptions give a little more info than the summary above, hopefully this blog and the links above will enable anyone interested to walk the route, without getting lost, first time!

For more info on the Danbury Ridge Nature Reserves see the Essex Wildlife Trust website: LinkExternal link


Loading map...
Marker only shows grid square

When
Wed, 22 Jun 2011 at 14:45
Grid Square
geotagged! TL7805
Chosen Photo

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