First excursion in the new territory. Note to self: visit Adath Yisroel cemetery, hidden among the suburban streets.
Up Willow Street to Forty Hall and its parkland. Along the Turkey Brook, we spot white-breated treecreepers on the bark, a possible green woodpecker, a trio of cocky magpies strutting on the path. Dog walkers say hello and joggers say excuse me.
Feels almost like Epping Forest. In a break in the trees, on shadow-rippled ponds we encounter something unexpected here in the outer parts of London. Five mergansers, large saw-billed ducks, one female and four males. A rough burst of tufted and rusted feathers.
Following the loop and crossing the new river (old course), we arrive at Forty Hall itself. Two stone lions sit staring blindly at the entrance, small muddied pools in front of them. They are eyeless, faces worn and corrupted by the centuries.