This month there was a choice of walk length. Those wanting a longer walk started from Burnham Marina, and those preferring a shorter walk joined them on the seawall at Althorne; the whole group then continuing to North Fambridge.
Four of us chose to do the longer walk and we set off from the marina at a good pace. It was a glorious day with bright sunshine, a gentle breeze and the tide high but still making. We thought we were going well until three runners passed us and disappeared into the distance – to make matters worse one of them was, or at least looked, older than any of us! We paused briefly at Cliff Reach to enjoy the views of the River Crouch and then descended to regain the seawall and arrived at Althorne with some time to spare before the others joined us, having come to Althorne by train.
The seawall leaves the River Crouch just before Althorne and follows Althorne Creek and later Bridgemarsh Creek. Bridgemarsh Island lies between these creeks and the river. By the time we rejoined the Crouch the tide had dropped substantially and feeding waders had started to appear – one flock of around 60 black-tailed godwits flew in and we were told by a man doing a bird count that there was a golden plover amongst them; he let us view them through his powerful telescope. Butterflies were everywhere, meadow browns, gatekeepers and cinnabar moths, to name a few. The exposed mud glistened in the sunlight and the weed created many vivid shades of green, which pleased the photographers amongst us. It was a great sight and we commented how lucky we were to live in such a place.
Just when you think you have almost reached North Fambridge and you can already taste the cold, refreshing drink you yearn for, the seawall does a dirty trick and veers inland passing round a tidal inlet. Once it returns to the river at Longpole Reach the final destination is quickly reached.
The Ferry Boat Inn was busy on this now hot summer’s day but it was pleasant lunching in the shade in the garden. We walked the ‘pretty’ route to the station passing through part of Blue House Farm Reserve and so back to Burnham by train.
It was a very satisfying walk – the long walk was 13kms/8 miles and the shorter one 8kms/5 miles
Forthcoming meetings (4th Tuesday monthly)
August 26th Meet 10.00 outside Blackwater Bistro, Blackwater Marina, Mayland walk 7kms/4miles lunch in Bistro optional pm walk 7kms/4miles.
September 23rd Meet at Tillingham on The Green 10.00 7kms/4.5miles (if coming by bus the D4 leaving the Clocktower at 9.30 will get you there on time – the bus returns at 14.07, so don’t linger too long in the pub!)
For further details contact Diane 783786.