Thank you to Sheila Neary for leading the walk and providing details for this report.
On a warm and sunny day we set off from Southminster Railway station at 10.00 am passing Wibblers Brewery and in a field opposite several ponies grazed; it was a joy to see one with a young foal.
Further along Goldsands Road we passed a cattery where a loudly barking, very large and fierce looking Rottweiler guarded the premises; fortunately the wall was just high enough to prevent it jumping over. At the end of the road we crossed the first stile and walked through a field. On reaching the second stile at the far side we were aware we were being followed by a grey pony and also a white Alsatian; the second stile stopped the pony, but the Alsatian was determined to join us on our walk.
We heard a loud explosion coming from the direction of Foulness and saw thick black smoke. We crossed cornfields and tried our hardest to avoid the many stinging nettles and as we walked along the edge we noticed how many butterflies there were and in particular the Peacocks standing out with their colourful wings.
After crossing another cornfield we came close to a reservoir. As we were walking nearer to Burnham and still having our friendly white Alsatian accompanying us we were worried about what we were going to do with her. Reaching Petticrows Boat Builders in Marsh Road we asked the staff if we could borrow some rope to use for a lead; they were very obliging and attached it to her pink collar with an impressive knot. We went on our way, passing the famous dragon racing yachts, crossing fields and finishing at Orchard Road from where we made our way home. The lucky Alsatian went off with one member (Tricia) with a promise of a drink and a nice biscuit if she behaved herself! Subsequently Tricia used Facebook to trace the owner, who said the dog, apparently a Swiss Alsatian, had gone missing before but before the dog was collected it had made itself at home, even having a snooze on Tricia’s bed!