This morning I was hoping to take the boys for a nice walk along Benfleet Creek to Benfleet Station and back again, a nice easy walk of 3 miles or so I think. Unfortunately when I arrived at the place you park, just after first light, so you can walk through to the creek itself, there was a lot of cars parked up already and no room for my van. Not deterred I drove further onwards, over the bridge which spans the creek, and onto Two Tree Island. I you drive to the end of the road and then walk towards the right of the car park you will come a nice nature reserve which runs alongside part of Benfleet Creek on one side and the smaller creek on the other which makes it actually an island.

The island itself is only small and you can walk around its footpaths easily within the hour but it is a nice walk. On my stroll around today there was very few people, which is good news for me, so I basically had the place to myself which means I got to see more birdlife than if there were others traipsing around. I saw lots of wildfowl floating around in edges of the marshland as the tide was in, a small egret which is one my favourite birds to see, a good few waders, and a large Curlew lifted not too far from me as I was walking back.

The boys had a great time, as they usually do, raging through the scrubland and swimming in the creek. I always try and keep them away from any nearby wildfowl, as I don’t like to disturb them too much, whistling and commanding them to come away which they did perfectly. Paddy found an old ball, as he quite frequently does, so Choccy was chasing him around all over the place.

You can also see Hadleigh Castle, or I should say the remains of it, sitting atop Hadleigh Downs if you look back inland. I’ve lived in this part of Essex all of my life and I,ve still not visited the castle yet. I,ll have to rectify this in the near future.

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