Davy Down is a
peaceful, relaxing setting in which you can explore the countryside,
enjoy the wildlife and take a look at some local historic buildings.
Before it was
opened 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.
Aspects of History through the
eyes of a small
now available June 2012
112 pages packed full
more than 200 pictures
The farm soon
became derelict and unsightly and remained so until the Davy Down
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 in 1926-27 to
house large diesel engines which provided the power to extract water
from a 42m deep borehole in the chalk below.
Water is still
being extracted today using a modern electric pump.
Picture: Davy Down Warden Steve
Mitchell holding his assistant warden
Standing next to one of the huge diesel engines.
The 13 hectare site has an information centre, a picnic area and
2.9km (1.8 miles) of paths going through water meadows, woodland,
ponds, and along the banks of the River Mardyke.
Davy Down is the
key gateway to the Mardyke Way, which runs for 12km (7.5miles) along
the ancient river valley from Bulphan in north Thurrock, downstream
to Aveley. Davy Down Riverside Park was developed in partnership
with local residents.
It is both easy
to get to and a great place to come for a walk, a bike ride, a
picnic, or simply to relax. The park is also accessible to
wheelchair users and pushchairs.
The Davy Down Riverside Park provides a rich habitat for a range
of animals and plants.
The ponds and wetlands are a particularly
good place to spot water voles or kingfishers as well as colourful
insects such as dragonflies, glow-worms and numerous species of
Other wildlife include foxes herons parakeets swans
and marsh frogs
necked Parakeets are now regular visitors to
North Stifford gardens
kingfisher can only eat the fish with the head towards him.
has to turn the fish around after catching it.
close to the bank or shore.
Adjacent to the pumping station is an Information Centre. There
is also a tactile notice board, with map and footpath information.
Outside the centre is a picnic site, with tables that are suitable
for wheelchair users. Toilets, baby-changing and disabled toilets
How to find Davy Down Riverside Park
The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Free information is
available at the Information Centre, which is usually open
Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm.
Davy Down is located close to Chafford Hundred, along Pilgrims
Lane (B186). This can be reached via the A1306 Arterial Road (take
junction 31 of the M25, or the Grays exit of the A13). Car parking
is available on site. Disabled spaces are located behind the pumping
station, 250m past the main parking area. There is also a car park
at Stifford Bridge, at the junction of Pilgrims Lane and Stifford
Bus number 370, 348 and 373 services the Davy Down Riverside
Park. For information call Traveline on 0870 608 2608.
The nearest train station is Chafford Hundred, which is a ten to
fifteen-minute (2km) walk away.
Trans-vol provides accessible transport for people with
impairments in Thurrock. Bookings an be made on 01375 391444.
Davy Down website
Davy Down is part of the Thames Chase Community Forest. For more
information visit the
Thames Chase website
or call 01708 641880.
Stifford Pumping Station