Visiting Kendal Park Nature Reserve

According to Wikipedia Kendal Park or Hullbridge Foreshore is a 2.8 hectare Local Nature Reserve in Hullbridge in Essex. It is owned by Rochford District Council and managed by Hullbridge Parish Council. The site has a wildflower meadow, coppiced woodland, grassland and a pond. Flowers in the meadow include hoary cress, charlock and ox-eye daisy, and there are many species of butterflies. The woodland has birds such as dunnock and song thrushes. There is access from Ferry Road”.

My wife and I decided earlier today to go for a walk. It was a nice day, ideal for walking. Despite being a lifelong resident of this part of the world, this was one place I had not yet visited and today we decided we would do so. Having got to near the end of Ferry Road (if we had continued we would have ended up in the River Crouch), we parked our car in the spacious council car park, which unusually happened to be free. Walking the 100 metres to the river abd turned left just before the end and we were in the park (see here for the guide). The area was relatively small but was easy walking, and pleasant. We followed the river, often only metres away, and would have ended up in Battlesbridge if we had continued.

Actually, we nearly did, for after the nature reserve there was a footpath and walking remained easy and there were hardly any ups or downs. We didn’t see as much in terms of wildlife and fauna as the above description would lead us to believe, but it was all very pleasant. One of the many nice features of the park was the number of benches, often put there in memory of a loved one who died. The path and surroundings were well maintained, with little litter to be seen, and there were a number of waste bins also thoughtfully placed. Once out of the park we were away from the village and in open countryside, with the river marking one of the boundaries. There were lots of blackberries (picking these could be an activity for another visit) and we enjoyed eating a few of the delicious berries. On our return we noticed the river had become alive with young sailors, mastering the art of tacking, and kayakers, reminding me of a day when I used to do something similar. While there were a lot of dogs and their handlers early in the walk, as we got further away from the start they became scarce, and we were alone.

In fairness, we kept more or less close to the river and as far as the nature reserve goes there remained room to explore further. Arriving back, having thoroughly enjoyed our walk, we checked out what if instead of turning left at the end of Ferry Road we had turned right. The helpful notice board and map indicated that would take us toward Burnham and meet another favourite walking place on Wallasea Island, which was noted for another day. Returning back to the car we saw the Simla (Indian) restaurant, which we had visited a few months back and liked (making me think of a possible day outing in the future) and opposite in was the Anchor Inn, which had a semblance of an up market pub / diner (with an extensive menu). We decided to pop in for a drink. While a little on the dearer side, the house burger from the garden bar-b-que was delicious.

All in all, it was a good decision to spend the start of our bank holiday this way and the walk was one I would recommend to others, especially those walkers who like me who in their youth tackled tough terrain and long distances without difficulty but in their later years are more restricted in what they can do.

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