HORNDON COUN­TRY PARK

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - ABI­GAIL HAMIL­TON-THOMP­SON

Tis an an­cient wood­land and his­toric deer park, which dates from the 15th Cen­tury. It is on the south­ern out­skirts of Brent­wood and the park­land was in­flu­enced by land­scape ar­chi­tect, Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown. Its tran­quil wood­lands at­tract many mi­grant and over­win­ter­ing birds. The main stars in­clude Lesser Red­polls, Bram­blings in win­ter, and Siskins. The sev­eral hun­dred-acre park com­prises both broad leaf and conif­er­ous trees, which at­tract a wide va­ri­ety of birds all year round. Usu­ally the wood­lands are at their best vis­ually in both spring, with flow­er­ing blue­bells and anemones, and au­tumn, with vi­brant leaf colours. The park com­prises two sec­tions linked to­gether by pas­tures and rare heath­land. These ar­eas be­tween the wood­lands are be­ing re­stored with the as­sis­tance of sheep and goats. Childerditch Pond, a haven for wa­ter birds, can be found in the heart of the park­land. These ar­eas par­tic­u­larly at­tract war­blers and also thrushes. Es­sex County Coun­cil man­age Thorn­don Coun­try Park and the coun­try­side cen­tre is run by the Es­sex Wildlife Trust. The cen­tre of­fers in­for­ma­tion dis­plays, gifts and re­fresh­ments. Once you get away from the main trails close to the cen­tre and the in­fa­mous Gruf­falo Trail, there are plenty of birds to be seen and heard.

Sky Lark King­fisher

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