Essex Walks - 2. Downham
The names of the villages - according to Google Maps at least - gets a bit confused and there's a bit of variation along a male and a half stretch. Pretty sure I started in Downham. Some of the places I walked past fall under South Hanningfield, and Dowsetts Lane is Stock, but I crossed a sign for Ramsden Heath on the way. Some places are just "Billericay", not apparently belonging to any town. But let's call the walk Downham!
It's not even 9am on a summer Saturday morning in (6 June 2015) and I've parked up at the Essex Wildlife Trust visitor centre by Hanningfield Reservoir. I'm not really sure exactly where I can walk now I'm here - after a circuit of the car park looking for footpaths, I've ended up leaving and walking west along Hawkswood Road, along the road that forms the southern edge of the 880 acre lake where I get my water from. (I should have walked the other way towards South Hanningfield village and its nature trails).
My walk took me along Hawkswood Road to Dowsetts Lane, which loops round towards the centre of Ramsden Heath, but again my walk was just over a mile and half, then turn round and the same distance back. Still averaging just over 3.2 miles per hour which isn't too bad!
Nearly all of my walk was on the road today - but there weren't too many cars around , maybe one a minute or so, and no near misses.
You might just be able to make out the signs in the photo above - the correct one ("Dowsetts Lane") on the left, the incorrect one ("Dowsett Lane") on the right. There's a golden opportunity to let the hedge consume the wrong one, but they still cut around it.
You can probably just about make out the old Essex Water Company logo on the above sign - which means it's older than 1994, when the company merged with Suffolk Water.
Beautiful morning to have a walk - about 18 degrees, a few clouds, and lots of birds singing and squirrels and rabbits hopping about.
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Last updated 16 June 2015 15:00
I think I'm meant to do an "About" here but I think you'd be more interested in seeing a random seagull.