Weald Country Park
Grid ref: TQ 570 939 (click for o/s map)
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Weald Country Park, which lies just north-west of Brentwood, is an attractive mix of semi-formal parkland with large areas of woodland and the remnants of the 'tree pasture' of a deer park. Its south-eastern quarter, called The Park, is scattered with massive oak and hornbeam pollards, some of which are probably more than 500 years old. It was bought by Essex County Council in 1953.
The woodland to the north positively shimmers with bluebells in spring, particularly where conifers have recently been removed. Golden saxifage, an unusual ancient woodland plant, grows in Foxdown Wood, which escaped conifer planting.
Such a variety of habitats attracts a wide variety of birds. Great crested grebes and moorhens breed on the lakes. Nuthatches and woodpeckers are often seen in and around the woods. Flocks of seed-eating birds such as goldfinches and siskins can sometimes be seen feeding on the ground or in the lakeside alders. Little owls can be seen hunting in the early evening.
From M25 junction 28 with the A12 take the A1023 towards Brentwood and turn left on to Wigley Bush Lane. This meets Weald Road in South Weald village, from which there are several entrances.
Regular bus services from Brentwood to Pilgrims Hatch. Occasional services to South Weald village.
Accessible at all times. Car parks open from dawn to dusk. Visitor centre open daily except Mondays 10am–5pm from April–October, otherwise weekends only 10am–4pm.
April–May for bluebells and birdsong; July for butterflies, dragonflies and wild flowers in the damper parts.
Battery-powered scooters can be provided on request.
For more information call the Rangers on 01277 261343.