Length: 10.1 km (6.3 mi) [shorter walk possible, see below]
Net Walking Time: ca. 2 ¼ hours
Arrive at Dagenham East station for a 10.30 start. Dagenham East is in Zone 5, on the District Line to Upminster. Journey time from Aldgate East is 32 minutes, from Victoria 49 minutes. You can shave off a few minutes by taking mainline trains from Fenchurch Street (or from Limehouse or West Ham) to Barking for part of the journey.
This is an exploration of several linked green areas in an otherwise densely populated East London suburb, leading through some Local Nature Reserves, two Country Parks, an ex-landfill site and ex-quarry, a river floodplain and along the recently restored beds of the Wantz Stream and the Beam and Rom Rivers.
This walk has a large variety of landscapes, from acid grassland, fenland and woodland to marshland and sandy shrubland via woods and a tranquil meandering valley.
Beam Parklands provides functional flood prevention and public open space for the community, while the Beam Valley Country Park was formerly derelict land after having been partly worked for gravel, leaving a wide diversity of habitats, with wet and dry grassland, tall herbs and scrub, and one small area of willow woodland, a scarce habitat in London. The Chase Local Nature Reserve has large areas of marshland and contains 6 of only 600 mature female Black Poplar trees left in the UK as well as a fenced off Bird Sanctuary (The Slack). Eastbrookend Country Park, now an interesting, undulating landscape, was formerly a gravel quarry then a dumping ground for the rubble left over from the blitz.
A shortcut at the northerly end of the walk reduces the length by 2.3 km.
, walk directions
, height profile
and gpx/kml files
Lunch: The Pipe Major
, at the end, just beyond Dagenham East station. T=short.33