Saturday, 28 April 2018

Bluebell Walk, The Manor ,Harold Hill 28.04.18

On Saturday the 28th April 2018 I went for my yearly dog walk through The Manor Reserve in  Harold Hill, Romford to see the Bluebells. I parked up in the free car park at the end of Settle Road.

The site includes almost twenty hectares of colourful wildflower meadows, over eight hectares of ancient coppiced woodland, ponds, scrub and veteran trees. Not only that but the site also preserves a fascinating historical record which stretches back into the Middle Ages. Dagnam park, formally laid out by the well known Victorian landscape architect Humphrey Repton, preserves its original 18th century boundaries together with a number of original landscape features including copses, ponds and specimen trees. Look out for mature conifers, horse chestnuts and cedar.

The site of the original house is now overgrown, but a line of yew trees survives in woodland close to the spot where 19th century cast-iron gateposts flank the former drive. There is also a scheduled ancient monument, Cockerell's moated site (of Dagnam Park Farm), in the south of the site - now a well known breeding pond for great crested newts. There is also evidence of medieval field patterns and see if you can spot the medieval road running along the sites eastern boundary!

The nature conservation interest in Dagnam Park, Hatters Wood and Fir Wood is recognised in its designation by the Greater London Authority as a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. Nearby Duck Wood is also designated as a site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation.

I listened to the sounds of the birds singing. It was so peaceful and calming. But you can hear the distant hum of traffic on the M25 unfortunately breaking the silence.

Dagnam Park is a public park located in Harold Hill in the London Borough of Havering.
It is a remnant of the grounds of Dagnams Park, the house of the manor of Dagnams. In 1947 the 850 acres remaining of the Dagnams estate was sold to the London County Council for the construction of the Harold Hill estate.
The park is part of The Manor Local Nature Reserve, which includes Hatters Wood, Fir Wood, Duck Wood and Dagnam Park.

The area that became Harold Hill formed part of the Harold Wood and Noak Hill wards of the parish of Hornchurch; the large ancient parish occupied the same area as the royal manor and liberty of Havering. The boundary between Harold Wood and Noak Hill was formed by a tributary of the River Ingrebourne. In the Harold Hill area the manor was subdvided into Dagnams, Cockerells and Gooshays. The Havering courts and Romford vestry were the principal local government in the area. The Havering liberty was abolished in 1892 and the vestry in 1894. Following the Local Government Act 1894 the area was split between the parishes of Romford Rural (in the west) and Noak Hill (in the east), each with a parish council and within the Romford Rural District. In 1900 the Romford Rural parish was abolished and the area was then split between the Romford Urban District (in the west) and Noak Hill in Romford Rural District (in the east). In 1934 Romford Urban District absorbed Noak Hill, bringing the whole area under the authority of Romford Urban District Council. Romford was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1937 governed by Romford Borough Council, which was the local authority during the construction of the estate. The Municipal Borough of Romford was abolished in 1965 and Harold Hill became part of the London Borough of Havering in Greater London.

Ben amongst the Wild Garlic

Herd of Deer in the park

A lovely 2 mile walk amongst the bluebells, same again next year!