We started where we left off on 19 February. But what a difference! Today we had a bright sunshine and it was warm when it had been cold, windy and wet. 23 Poly Ramblers met at East Tilbury station. We went through Gobbions Park, along a path running down the side of houses before reaching the stile to allow us to enter into Thurrock Thameside nature park.

The nature park was opened in May 2013 by David Attenborough. The area was the site of a Saxon village but was occupied as far back as the Stone Age. Gravel was extracted from the site until the 1960s. Once the gravel was all extracted, it was used as a landfill for 50 years by London boroughs.. The waste is stacked 30 metres (98 ft) high. A thick clay cap was placed on top followed by soil and plants. Methane from the rotting waste is being captured and burned to produce electricity. Read more about it here:  Apologies, I should have said all this during the walk!

We followed a track along the train line and a huge lake and continued through the nature park to the Enovert Community Trust visitor centre where we had lunch. After enjoying the amenities and the views over Mucking Flats SSSI, The Thames Estuary and the huge cranes of the London Gateway container port, we resumed our walk in the nature park. We followed the path over the sluice gate and along Mucking Creek, across Stanford marshes to Mucking church. We stopped to look at lovely horses and a white pony with a black head and tail. We reached Stanford le Hope, crossed the Hassingbrook River and reached the station where the walk ended.

Dominique. Photos by Ida and Stuart