Oakwood and Ash Plantation form an integral part of Thames Chase Community Forest. There are 2 adjoining woods separated by a stretch of water called Long Pond.
They were part of the original landscape garden of Belhus House and designed in the 18th century by Richard Woods and landscape architect Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Visitors can view the remainder of the former ice house, which was used to store ice for use by the mansion.
Land and wildlife
The area contains 21 hectares (52 acres) of woodland, grassland, willow scrub and water. The woods are managed by coppicing with the cut material used for hazel hurdles and thatching spars. This area is rich in wildlife and supports tree species such as Turkey Oak, Wild Cherry, Black Poplar, London Plane, Common Lime and Aspen. Long Pond provides a unique habitat for wildlife species and forms a focal point for the woodland.
Two pedestrian footbridges spanning the M25 motorway link the site with Belhus Chase, Belhus Park and Belhus Woods Country Park.
There are 6 pathways that intersect Oakwood and Ash Plantation with 2 pathways connecting to Belhus Chase, Belhus Park and Belhus Woods Country Park.
Accessible at all times
Features of the park include:
- Site Area: 52 acres
- Path Length: 1.8km Foot, 1km Horse riding and Cycling
- Accessible – 0.8km, Unsurfaced – 1km
- Parking for is restricted to lay-bys in Humble Lane and Humber Avenue.
- Nearest Train Station: South Ockendon - 2.3km
- Nearest Bus stop: 0.5km
- Bus Number: Arriva 269,373,388,389
- Site Management Organisation: Thurrock Council
- Website: https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/oakwood-and-ash-plantation/overview
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