Olympic Legacy On The Downs

No more muddy tracks

Anyone who has walked along The Downs knows how muddy it can be when wet and especially in the winter walking along the bottom track.

As part of the Olympic Legacy there are now three new tracks in place.  I was delighted to discover that from the unmade up end of St Mary’s Road, the old muddy steps have been bypassed by a new slope, (the steps are still there if you feel the need for mud). There is almost a complete circular walk on an all weather track, with fantastic views over the estuary.

No more slipping and sliding in the sticky clay, clearings have been made to let in the light, with the spring hopefully wild flowers.  Ponds have been improved and cleared and will make good homes for wildlife.

The Hub, the new visitors centre at Hadleigh, should be open in the Spring of 2015.  It will have a Cafe so the tired walker could have a breather.


The new path along The Downs
Dave Cowan
New signs indicate the new paths, soon there will be a visitors centre at Hadleigh.
Margaret March
The old muddy steps have been bypassed by a new route.
Margaret March
view over the Thames estuary
Margaret March
Map of new routes on the Benfleet Downs
Essex County Council
Wild violets at the side of the new paths.
Dave Cowan
Spring colour on The Downs, March 2015
Dave Cowan

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