A few weeks ago I decided to explore a local woodland that I found whilst browsing around my neighbourhood on Google Earth, just one of the things I do when I’m stuck in my office supposedly catching up on my paperwork. The patch of woodland in question is called Beckney Woods and is only 3 miles away from my home. Now I know that there is a nice ‘band’ of woodland that stretches from Hockley through to just outside Hullbridge but until looking on the map I had thought that they were privately owned, but it turns out they are managed by Rochford Council, or so I believe.
So one sunny afternoon seeing as I had finished work early I decided to explore this small, hidden patch of woodland. After a little bit of driving up and down a few residential roads I finally found an entrance to Beckney then spent another 5 minutes trying to find somewhere adequate to park my van. Beckney Woods is surrounded by houses on one side and ‘smallholdings on the other so parking was on the roadside, although not very busy roads . Walking along the pathway towards the woods opening I’m afraid that I did not really hold up hopes as to this being somewhere of interest. How wrong was I, as soon as you venture down the mud track and go past the last of the gardens the woodland just opens out into a gorgeous dense expanse of trees and bracken/scrub. Now that was totally un-expected and not only that it was totally quiet with only the bird calls to be heard, not the rumble of vehicles on the road no more that a few hundred yards away.
I spent about 30 minutes walking the tracks that run through the woods, exploring the little nooks and crannies that abound and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Oak and sweet chestnut grow on the higher areas of the woods along with willow, ash and hazel in the wetter areas, birch and hornbeam are also abundant. The woodland floor when I went was mainly bracken and bramble but apparently during Spring it is carpeted with bluebells so I will definitely be returning then. I have also heard, since visiting there, that it can be a good woodland to search for mushrooms so I definitely looking forward to this Autumn.
Although only a small woodland BECKNEY WOODS is certainly worth a visit sometime. I recorded my visit on my KOMOOT app so if you would like to follow the same route that I took then click HERE.