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Maldon Essex

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Beeleigh Falls, Heybridge, Maldon
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I. Dallinger
Description
Beeleigh Falls, Heybridge, Maldon

Site Location Details

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Site Details

Maldon is an old town at the head of the Blackwater Estuary famous as the mooring site of a number of traditional Thames barges and the source of sea salt. Within a three-mile radius there is a wide range of habitats allowing 3-figure day lists to be achieved (though this does take some effort!).
The principal feature is the tidal estuary as seen on TV being traversed during Maldon's annual charity mud run.
Best Maldon sites are the estuary (viewable from the Prom park and then by walking east along the sea wall), Heybridge Pits, Chigborough Lakes (an Essex Wildlife Trust reserve) and Lofts Farm gravel pits. There is also a pleasant walk in summer up river towards Beeleigh Falls. This is particularly good in June/July when a wide range of dragonflies can be seen, including Scarce Chaser.
South of Maldon you can walk along Maldon Wick - the old railway embankment - which has a lot of warblers in the summer. This is also an EWT reserve. The adjacent pond is good for damselflies.
If you need refreshment, Maldon has a good selection of pubs and two excellent breweries (Mighty Oak and Farmer's Ales). The Queen's Head, on the quayside, and the Blue Boar Hotel, by the top of the High Street, are particularly recommended.

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Directions

To view the river, there is ample parking in the Promenade Park (TL863064). There is also informal parking for one or two cars by Maldon Refuse Tip (entrance just before you get to the park). Walking east along the south bank of the river gives good views as the sun is generally behind you.
Maldon Wick begins across the road from the Morrison's Supermarket (a Waxwing site) where the A414 reaches Maldon from Danbury.
Heybridge Pits and Chigborough have their own BirdGuides site pages.

Key Areas / Routes

Beeleigh Falls is the junction of the Chelmer and Blackwater. Below the fall the water is salt tidal from the Blackwater estuary, above is fresh water from both the Chelmer River and Chelmer Canal.

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British & Irish Records Archive Maldon

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