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Chafford Gorges Nature Park

How can an area as dramatic and as beautiful as Chafford Gorge go so neglected, every time I go there its empty bar the odd fisherman or dog walker. We feel compelled to feature this place as its stunning, tranquil, and just 6 mins drive from Grays town centre. Could it be that it's unknown to the vast number of Grays residents? It's fair to say a significant portion of Grays residents don't get off the couch for very much so you would never encounter them there anyway, but if you are looking for an out and about experience that is beautiful; totally natural and offers you a chance to view the local wild life (Woodpeckers and Kingfishers are regulars) and even snakes (you have to be quiet and a bit lucky for that to happen but they have been seen). Then try this for a couple of hours out. There are benches laid out and the grounds are well maintained so it is an area where visitors are encouraged to linger. It could perhaps do more to explain the gorge's history, but everything else is perfect. It stems from the Chalk quarry days and the gorge is the result of a tramway that took the chalk to the river to be shipped on. There are actually fossils in the chalk that show this area to have once been a tropical sea once.
There is actually a visitors centre based on drake road, but that's only for the real enthusiast, what this place offers doesn't really require lots of information. Its value is obvious to anyone walking through it.

Chafford Gorges Nature Park map

The Gorges
The area is built up of 5 principle sections of natural park:
1. Warren Gorge - this is the biggest and more popular gorge as it consists of a large lake and flatlands to stroll through. Also it's home to many species of plants and birds. Read more about Warren Gorge
2. Lion Gorge - This gorge is very popular with the fisherman as its lake contains many different types of fish, like Pike, Rudd, and Bream. Its also home to many variety of Bats. Read more about Lion Gorge
3. Grays Gorge (Grays Chalk Quarry Nature Reserve) - this gorge has the most wildlife as there are many reptile, insects and birds nested in this region. Look out for snakes here though, the Adder is a common one in this gorge, so good idea to keep the dog on the leash if going here. Read more about Grays Chalk Quarry Nature Reserve
4. Mill Wood - this gorge is perhaps more of a forest than gorge but the substantial tree density means its an experience different to the other gorges and has its own range of wildlife within. Read more about Mill Wood
5. Wouldham Cliffs - this is the highest gorge and overlooks much of the surrounding area. Its very common to encounter an array of insect life here that borders on the exotic as you'll see dragonflies and many different types of butterfly. But you really come here for the dramatic views. Read more about Wouldham Cliffs

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