Manor Park Station to Snaresbrook via Hollow Ponds

Having had last week’s walk unfortunately cancelled, I decided to arrange a replacement, but since there had been a lot of rain recently I needed to recce it first.

So on 15th April six of us (Trevor, Jill Voon, Paul Ferris, Laurel, Cathy and myself) set off from Manor Park Station. First stop was to be the café/toilets at the entrance to the City of London Cemetery. Sadly the popular Poppy café had changed hands a couple of years ago, then closed about 6 weeks ago, but at least the toilets were still available. We also met up with Fozi there.

We then headed across Wanstead Flats following the first part of the Epping Forest Centenary Walk.

Paul pointed out a copse of trees where Little Owls have on occasion been spotted, but we weren’t in luck. We then proceeded to Long Wood where the concrete floor of a WWII communications building is still visible and Paul also told us that the Flats were home to a camp for Italian POWs.

We carried on past an area fenced off to protect possible nesting skylarks; as well as hearing at least one, Paul and I were fortunate enough to see 3 chasing around at low level.

We then followed what is also part of The Lime Trail and headed for Bush Road and then The Green Man Roundabout where we went through the underpass to then carry on for Hollow Ponds.

This area was somewhat damp from the recent rains so there was a bit of meandering to find the best route through, but we arrived safely at the Café by Hollow Ponds where we had a welcome stop for cups of tea, cake etc. (Sadly no toilets here).

On my recce I’d heard a woodpecker in the woods just to the north side of the lake and today we saw what may have been a couple of woodpeckers fly past.

We then carried on to Eagle Pond on the final leg. Paul tried to find a spring which used to supply drinking water to the neighbourhood; unfortunately this was also the wettest and muddiest part of the walk and although we found two boundary markers, we couldn’t the spring itself amongst the undergrowth.

We carried on to our well known area of The Eagle pub and ROVSCO hall to get trains/buses back from Snaresbrook/Wanstead.

Total distance walked according to Google Maps was 4.5 miles in roughly 3 hours including the breaks, though our pedometers showed a little more mileage.

Richard,  17th April 2023