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North Stifford Village
Davy Down Riverside Park
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.
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 in 1926-
Water is still being extracted today using a modern electric pump.
Picture: Davy Down Warden Steve Mitchell holding his assistant warden Boris 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-
Other wildlife include foxes herons parakeets swans and marsh frogs etc.
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-
How to find Davy Down Riverside Park
The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Free information is available at the Information Centre.
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 Hill.
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-
Davy Down is part of the Thames Chase Community Forest. For more information visit the Thames Chase website or call 01708 641880.
Aspects of History through the
eyes of a small English village
Limited edition now available
112 pages packed full
more than 200 pictures
Will foxes kill my cat?
Do foxes attack people?
Ring necked Parakeets are now regular visitors to
North Stifford gardens.
Did you know?
The kingfisher can only eat the fish with the head towards him.
So he has to turn the fish around after catching it.
Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Feeds close to the bank or shore.