Scouts Hall entrance - Butchers
Welcome to Mill Meadows. You have entered from the Scout Hall car park in Greens Farm Lane and are now in the field known as Butchers.
This field is part of the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). There are ponds on either side of the path behind the fences. These are busy with frogs in early spring then with tadpoles in the following months.
The dense hedgerows here are good for songbirds, notably Song Thrush, Whitethroat, Bullfinch and Greenfinch. An old apple tree behind the Scout Hall provides food for wintering thrushes.
Getting your bearings
On your right
The field slopes away to a small stream which is a boundary of Mill Meadows next to the Mill Grange estate. This area is quite boggy for much of the year. Wildflowers here include Betony and small patches of Sneezewort.
On your left
The pathway leads to the wooded area of Hillmans, beyond which is Jackdaw Close. The path also branches right along the southern boundary of Mill Meadows, alongside the grounds of Gatwick House. The path also leads close to the site of Greens Farmhouse.
There is a public footpath that runs through the SSSI and then on to Bell Hill. It runs over three sections of boardwalk in the next field, Oakfield. Look for Heath Orchids and other wildflowers in the grass in June and July..
The downward side of the path is one of the best areas for insects especially butterflies and can include Essex Skipper, Common Blue and Small Copper. The woodland on the left of Oakfield includes some alder trees.
The furthest field in the SSSI is Cumborrow and the path here climbs to provide a nice view over part of Billericay and towards Norsey Wood.