Common Walk

This is a circular walk starting at the car park in Common Road which is opposite the common and taking you past the Golden Jubilee Community Wood. From there you will pass through Oxenham farm to the seawall where you will follow the seawall west past the boatyard and back to Common Road.

 

The numbers on the Map refer to the instructions listed below.

  1. From the Car Park turn right and follow the road in the direction of the church. After 45 metres the footpath is on the left, follow this and halfway across the Common on the left hand side you will see the new Golden Jubilee Community Wood planted November 2002. The wood has been planted with native broadleaf trees and shrubs. Around the large pond on the right known as Miller's Pond you will find some rare Black Poplar trees. The pond is managed by the Great Wakering Natural History Society and is rich in plant and animal life. Look out for Great Crested Newts, a protected species, since they are abundant in spring and have been seen crossing the fields between ponds. In summer look out for dragonflies flying over the pond hawking for insects and for the smaller more delicate damselflies which shelter from predators and from strong winds in the rushes around the pond. If you approach the pond quietly in winter you may well see Snipe or Redshank feeding around the margins.
  2. The pumping station, here follow the road to Landwick Cottages and turn left towards Oxenham Farm.
  3. Continue along the road which has open arable land to the left and rough grassland to the right.
  4. Look out for kestrels hovering overhead and redshanks in the fields.
  5. Keep to the road as it turns right and pass through Oxenham Farm.
  6. At the seawall turn left and walk along the footpath on the top of the wall.
  7. Note how many of the salt marsh plants such as Cord Grass, Glasswort, Sea Aster and Sea Blite have succulent leaves which are an adaptation to salty conditions. On the far side of the creek you can see Rushley Island once owned and farmed by Captain John Harriott founder of Thames River Police in 1800.
  8. Pause at the boathouse, the tip of Potton Island is on the far side of the creek. At low tide the waders, herons and gulls can be seen feeding on the mudflats.
  9. As you move on from the boathouse you reach Mill Creek.
  10. Walk on until you come to a fence alongside the path and at its end turn left away from the sea wall. Cross the dirt road and walk straight ahead following the path as it crosses an area of grassland.
  11. As you walk you can see Saint Nicholas Church ahead standing out above the trees and from a point some 40-50m into the grassland you can see five churches: St. Nicholas at Great Wakering is ahead and along the horizon to your right, the churches at Little Wakering, Barling and across the water at Canewdon and Pagelsham.
  12. On reaching the other side of the grassland follow the path which in summer abounds with poppies, as it turns right across the fields to Millhead Villas. At Millhead Villas turn left along Common Road and follow it back to the Car Park.

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