Davy Down

Region: South East

Davy Down consists of around 6-hectares of attractive landscape, nestled amongst large modern developments. As a part of the Mardyke Valley and Thames Chase Community Forest, the area provides a great opportunity to explore and enjoy the countryside on your doorstep, with links to Aveley and Bulphan along the Mardyke Way.

Davy Down is home to an amazing variety of different life forms.

The ponds and wetland at Davy Down and the surrounding reaches of the Mardyke are particularly good areas to see Water voles. By sitting quietly and observing the banks and open water you will usually be rewarded with a sighting of this increasingly threatened mammal going about its business.

If you were wondering what causes the loud chuckling and quacking noise coming from the direction of the pond or river, the answer is the marsh frog. They are the largest European frog and can reach nearly five inches. They live in the water all year round and even hibernate at the bottom of ponds in the winter.

Kingfishers can be seen around the pond and the river. The best way to spot them is to settle by the river bank or stand on a bridge crossing the river and wait for one to zoom past as they travel up and down the river.

Location

RM16 5UL

Site size: 6 hectares

Visitor Information

Opening Hours

Davy Down is open to pedestrians and access is possible for vehicles (height restriction 6' 6"" and width restriction in operation) 24 hours a day, all year round. The Pumping Station is open to the public when the Warden is present on site and during the Discover Davy Down open days. In addition the Pumping Station is open to visitors every Thursday afternoon between 1 - 5pm.

Car Parking

Yes

Toilets

Yes - At the Information Centre
(click here to find the nearest public toilets)

Café

No

Entrance cost

Free

Accessibility

All the footpaths are suitable for wheelchair users. Seasonal variations should be considered before visiting as flooding can affect the path along the River Mardyke in particular. Seating is located every 200 meters and a change of surface highlights the location of resting points for visually impaired visitors. All seating areas are surfaced and designed to enable wheelchair users to sit next to family and friends. Please phone or email for more detailed information.

Footpaths

Yes

Dogs

Yes

Things to do

Some people come to keep fit by riding a bicycle or going for a long walk. Other people come to enjoy and photograph the amazing wildlife that can be found here. However, many people just come to escape the business of modern life, take in the scenery and enjoy the peace and quiet for a while. In addition there are a series of organised events run throughout the year, for kids, families and community groups. A variety of open days and events run during spring and summer - please check the events page for full details.

Conservation, Wildlife, Flora, Fauna

The ponds and wetland at Davy Down and the surrounding reaches of the Mardyke are particularly good areas to see Water Voles. By sitting quietly and observing the banks and open water you will usually be rewarded with a sighting of this increasingly threatened mammal going about its business. If you were wondering what causes the loud chuckling and quacking noise coming from the direction of the pond or river, the answer is the marsh frog. They are the largest European frog and can reach nearly five inches. They live in the water all year round and even hibernate at the bottom of ponds in the winter. Kingfishers can be seen around the pond and the river. The best way to spot them is to settle by the river bank or stand on a bridge crossing the river and wait for one to zoom past as they travel up and down the river.

Other Links

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Davy Down Contact


The site contact for our Davy Down space is Steve Mitchell

This space is managed in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water

History

Before opening to the public in May 1993 Davy Down had a long history of farming, dating back to at least 1730.

More recently, the land was used for market gardening, which was abandoned when the new A13 was built, splitting the land holding in half. The farm soon became derelict and unsightly and remained so until the Davy Down Project began.

The area also retains a rich heritage in the form of the impressive railway viaduct across the Mardyke Valley which dates from 1892.

There are also the dominant Stifford Pumping Station buildings, built around 1926-27 to house large diesel engines which provided the power to extract water from a 42m deep borehole in the chalk below. Essex & Suffolk Water still abstract water today using a modern electric pump.’

Development

The Land Trust took on the management of Davy Down in 2015, and is working in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water and the Davy Down Trust to manage the site.

Land Trust Contact

To contact the Land Trust about this site or how we could help manage your space please email our Estates Manager Simon Pile or call 07747 455980

News

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Events

There are currently no events relating to this space.

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