DISCOVER THE CHANGING BEAUTY OF AUTUMN

"Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower."- Albert Camus.

Though the long days of Summer have quickly passed, Autumn's days bring many opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of Maldon District's unique environment. From colourful strolls along avenues of trees resplendent in the reds, browns and golds of the autumnal palette, to bracing walks beneath the wide blue and grey skies of tidal estuaries, Autumn offers the visitor a chance to re-discover these landscapes painted afresh with new colours.

Couple on bridge over river

PUBLIC PARKS AND OPEN SPACES

View of trees across a lake

Maldon District benfits from several public parks the most notable of which are Promenade Park in Maldon and Riverside Park in Burnham-on-Crouch.

Designed in the Edwardian era, Promenade Park offers a wide variety of vistas, including views across the ornamental lake, along tree lined paths and over the River Blackwater where one can while away a gentle hour observing the many migrating birds.

In the park, there are several places where one can find a seat to rest and a warming beverage. A short walk away you will find Hythe Quay with its Thames Barges and riverside inns, where you will find a friendly welcome, a corner into which you can nestle and peruse a tempting menu.

Winter sun through tall grass

An autumn walk across a country heath invigourates both mind and body, the warmth of the colours inviting the eye to ponder and appreciate the wonder of mother nature.

Explore the woodland walks across Shut Heath Wood near Great Totham and Woodham Walter Common near Danbury with the aid of an informative guide detailing routes, times and distances which are available from the Tourist Information Centres in Maldon and Burnham-on-Crouch.

Not only do these guides provide a local map but they also describe important landmarks along the way such as the 13th Century Church of St. Peter's in Greta Totham or the Elizabethan church of St Michael's in Woodham Walter.

HABITATS TEEMING WITH WILDLIFE

The coastline of Maldon District benefits from extensive stretches of saltmarsh and inter-tidal muflats which provides a wonderful habitat for a whole host of wildlife. At various locations the keen-eyed visitor will be able to see wading birds such as avocets, dunlin, various plover and redshank. Significant numbers of Brent geese can be observed arriving from Siberia as well as copper headed and snow-shouldered wigeon. The saltmarsh sometimes attracts spoonbill, black-winged stilt and glossy ibis which in turn attract birds of prey such as peregrine.
Seal and Wildlife Trips run three times a week from Burnham Quay until the end of October, they last a little over two hours and take you along the Crouch Estuary past the R.S.P.B. Reserve of Wallasea Island and into the smaller rivers and creeks. Although it would be impossible to promise a view of the seals in particular, the skilled skipper of the ‘Discovery’ can almost guarantee that you will get a close view of them along with much of the wildlife native to the Saltmarsh Coast. Some trips are accompanied by an accredited guide from the R.S.P.B. who will give an informative commentary on what you can see, at other times the skipper will pause on the journey to offer an equally interesting guide to the wildlife and to changes occuring in this habitat.
Large seal on the mud
Sheep grazing on marshland
At Tollesbury Wick, a 600-acre site on the Blackwater Estuary, the marshland is grazed in a traditional way thus encouraging diversity amongst the flora and fauna. By restoring wet areas, thousands of lapwing and in particular golden plover return towards Winter. A walk along the Blackwater Estuary can also bring the surprising sight of hares bounding across farmland in the fading autumn sunlight.
Though less prevalent in Maldon District, areas of woodland offer further examples of nature’s seemingly boundless variation with displays of intricately constructed fungi, surrounded by the colourful carpet of autumn leaves. The red berries of Rowan make themselves visible as do the reddish brown fruits of the horse chestnut having fallen to the ground and escaped their spiky green husks. Be assured that this is the time when voles are most populous although you will need to be very patient indeed to catch a glimpse of them. The Essex Wildlife Trust can advise on suitable locations where you will have the best chance.
Autumn leaves in the sunlight

75 MILES OF OPEN COASTAL PATH

Saltmarsh coastal view

A crisp sunny day, the cold water lapping over the shingle beach, behind a soft wind gently whispers through the reeds. The smell of the saltmarsh and the taste of the air completes this symphony of the senses. Experience for yourself unique environment the of the Saltmarsh Coast.

The coastal path is easily accessible from several towns and villages and walkers can choose to tackle a section according to the distance required. If driving to your starting point, why not park your car in one location, enjoy your walk and return using public transport. Bus and train timetables are available on-line and from our two Tourist Information Centres. For the more intrepid trekker, sections such as those from Bradwell to Burnham-on-Crouch or Tollesbury to Salcott-cum-Virley offer a sense of remotenss not often easily found in this region.

Along the coastline of the Maldon District, five Saltmarsh Coast Hubs are being installed as part of Maldon District Council's Dengie Gateway Project. These include:

These inspirational visitor information points make the perfect starting point for your journey and provide you with engaging facts and details about this fascinating part of Essex's Discovery Coast.

Saltmarsh Coast Trail
Additionally, audio posts, signage and waymarking will continue to be installed. This work has been undertaken as part of the Maldon District Council’s Dengie Gateway Project funded by the Coastal Community’s Fund.

These inspirational visitor information points make the perfect starting point for your journey and provide you with engaging facts and details about this fascinating part of Essex's Discovery Coast.

Additionally, audio posts, signage and waymarking has also been installed. This work has been undertaken as part of the Maldon District Council’s Dengie Gateway Project funded by the Coastal Community’s Fund.

Saltmarsh Coast Trail