Grid ref: TL 519 212ŠTL 760 227 (click for o/s map)
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The Flitch Way country park follows the route of the old railway line from Bishop's Stortford to Braintree. The railway was built in the 19th century and dismantled in 1969. Since then nature has taken over, with the help of Essex County Council's rangers.
Sections of the line run on embankments with fine views over the surrounding countryside. Others run in secluded cuttings with banks that are rich in flowers, the longest of which is west of Dunmow. Near Dunmow conditions are very wet, and wetland plants such as water mint and hemp agrimony grow alongside the path.
The south-facing banks form a sun trap and are ideal for reptiles such as lizards, which can sometimes be seen basking in the open. They also attract many butterflies and other insects.
Can be entered at a number of points. Parking at Takeley (CM22 6QA), Rayne (CM77 6RX) or Braintree (CM7 3QL) stations. SatNav: CM77 6RX.
Trains run to Braintree from Witham. Use hourly bus service Stansted Airport–Braintree via Takeley to return.
Accessible at all times. Centre at Rayne Station open daily from 9am to 5pm.
May–July for wild flowers, birds and butterflies.
Call the Rangers on 01376 340262.