RCCE’s latest venture to raise money for the Essex Rural Fund saw some 60 walkers, including Cllr. Rodney Bass, Chairman of Essex County Council, and Christopher Palmer-Tomkinson, the new High Sheriff of Essex, make the trek from White Roding to Hatfield Forest, through some of Essex’s most delightfully unspoilt countryside.

The walk included a stop in Hatfield Broad Oak, best known for its Broad Oak sausages, where the party were given a talk and an opportunity to view the new ‘village green’; an exciting and ambitious community project, led by the Parish Council, which will provide impressive sporting and recreational facilities right in the heart of the village. Local landowner, Rupert Gosling, who provided the land for the project, then guided the party on through the water meadows he manages, to his home, Little Barrington Hall, where he hosted a barbecue lunch. National Trust warden, Henry Bexley, was on hand to offer an introduction to Hatfield Forest, and after lunch there was an opportunity for everyone to access and enjoy the Forest, which is undoubtedly one of our county’s hidden gems.

The day was enjoyed by all, (not least because the sun shone!), especially by the many four-legged supporters who joined us for the day. Crucially, the event succeeded in raising over £8,000 for the Essex Rural Fund, which RCCE is developing in conjunction with Essex Community Foundation, as an endowed fund to help charities and community groups working to improve the quality of life for people in rural Essex.

Plans are already afoot for another walk next year, but the next fundraising event this year will be Flix in the Stix – an outdoor picnic and cinema evening at Layer Marney Tower on Sunday 19th August. Please check back for further details nearer the time or contact the RCCE on 01376 574330.

If you would like to make a donation please either send a cheque made payable to Essex Community Foundation (Essex Rural Fund) to Shelley Labbett at RCCE Offices, or you can do it online using the Essex Rural Fund’s webpage. Sums large or small will be greatly appreciated!