The River Walk
Witham’s River Walk was conceived as a way of bringing a touch of the countryside through the middle of the town as it began its expansion in the early 1970’s. It meanders for about 3.3km along the River Brain, and covers an area of 36 hectares, from Ebenezer Close in the north, to the Whetmead Nature Reserve in the south-east. The River Walk is managed to encourage wildlife, and as such some areas are left untended. As you walk through, you may be lucky enough to glimse heron, kingfishers, muntjac deer and even otters.
Whetmead Nature Reserve
Whetmead is an area of meadow, woodland and open water. The site is rich in wildlife and covers around 10 hectares. The site was passed into the care of Witham Town Council in 2005, and is today home to many species of plants and animals. The rivers Blackwater and Brain merge on the reserve, and a path follows both river banks. You may be lucky enough to glimpse a basking lizard on a sunny day, or a water vole on the riverbank.
James Cooke Woods
The woodland is planted with British trees local to the area. The main tree species are Wild Cherry, Oak, Silver Birch, Alder and Ash. Some further areas are planted with smaller, shrubby species such as Hazel, Field Maple, Guelder Rose and Spindle. This variety of trees provide the maximum benefit for wildlife. The woodland is surrounded by hedgerows that originally acted as the boundary to the former arable field. The hedges are especially important for threatened farmland birds, such as the yellowhammer, providing them with a food source and a place to nest.
The Closed Churchyard
On 20th March 1991, the All Saint’s Churchyard was closed. In accordance with the Local Authority Act, the Town Council, in conjunction originally with the PCC of St Nicolas Church, took over responsibility for its management.
The Church was dedicated in 1842 as a Church of Easement, and was made redundant in 1969. It was later sold to the Roman Catholic Church to become, after extensive renovation, the Holy Family and All Saint’s Church in 1989