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Belhus Woods


Grid ref: TQ 564 825 (click for o/s map)

Updated 16/06/2021.

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The Belhus estate dates from the 14th century. Originally a deer park, it was landscaped by Capability Brown in the 18th century. The main part, east of Romford Road, has ancient woodland, grassland, and five lakes that were created by gravel extraction. Two of these are used for fishing and the others are reserved for wildlife.

With such a variety of habitats the park is rich in wildlife, including a wide variety of flowering plants. Brick Kiln Wood with its streams and ponds, dug to extract clay for brickmaking, is alive with insects in summer, as are the meadows nearby.

The hazel in Running Water Wood is being coppiced and the clearings are full of wild flowers in summer, including (as it is a damp wood) marsh thistles and ragged robin.

West of Romford Road are two ancient woods, surrounded by the Forestry Commission's plantings of Cely Woods. Warwick Wood is especially interesting, with aspen groves and many surviving elm trees.


Access from Romford Road between Upminster and Aveley, reached from the south via the A13/A1306 and B1335, and from the north via Aveley Road. SatNav: RM15 4XJ.

Half-hourly service from Romford to Lakeside via Upminster station runs along Romford Road.

Main entrance open 8am–dusk, and visitor centre 9am–4pm. Access via public footpaths at all times

May–July for birdsong, butterflies and dragonflies. Choose a day with a westerly breeze to carry away the noise from the nearby M25.

Mobility scooters available from the centre.

© Tony Gunton