Tales of the Fanns – A Walking and Arts Festival

Saturday 22 May – Sunday 6 June

What stories lie waiting to be discovered in the landscape around us? Where are the special places that evoke memories and recall past histories? Who are the characters that have enlivened and shaped the land?

The 185 square kilometres of the Land of the Fanns spans towns and countryside in south west Essex and east London’s urban fringes. Over two weeks between 22 May and 6 June, a series of FREE walks and activities will occur across the area to reveal unexpected and delightful treasures waiting to be discovered in the Land of the Fanns.

Saturday 22 May 10.30am    Thames Chase Forest Centre and Broadfields Farm (Family friendly)

Sunday 23 May 10.00am    Thorndon Country Park (Family friendly)

Wednesday 26 May 11.30am    Davy Down to Bulphan

Friday 28 May 10.30am    Grays and the graffiti walls, Purfleet

Saturday 29 May 10.00am    Rainham to Purfleet

Sunday 30 May 10.00am    Pages Wood (Family friendly)

Monday 31 May 10.30am    West Thurrock gorges (Family friendly)

Thursday 3 June 10.30am    Eastbrookend Country Park (Family friendly)

Friday 4 June 10.30am    Bedfords Park and Walled Garden (Family friendly)

Friday 4 June 2.00pm    Dagnam Park

Saturday 5 June 10.30am    Little Belhus Country Park

Sunday 6 June 11am or 2pm   Langdon Hills Country Park (Family friendly)


The walks will be led by experienced walkers who can share local knowledge. All walks will need to be booked via Eventbrite to ensure numbers are maintained at the level set by any restrictions in place at the time of the walks.  All information correct at time of writing. Please check back here for specific details and any changes to the event due to continuing lockdown restrictions.

The Tales of the Fanns festival is the culmination of a community mapping project which began in 2019 with arts organisation Kinetika. The project recorded 100 stories from communities across the Land of the Fanns: 100 insights into the things that make a place meaningful to local people, that elevate a place from mundane to significant to a community, that create a connection to where people live.

Kinetika, working with local people during lockdown, created 100 silk flags to illustrate the 100 stories and these will play a key role in the Tales festival. Artist Jackie Creasey, and students from University Centre South Essex Stephanie Reeves, Marissa Hayward, Ami Nelson and Jacqueline Lewis-Conteh, have created costumes to bring to life some of the characters and wildlife found in the landscape. Fascinating short films about special areas in the Land of the Fanns have been produced by Rosa Productions and the local communities. These films are available on our YouTube channel giving a glimpse into some of the places to be discovered in the area: find out more about the ambitious plans at Little Belhus Country Park where a former landfill site is now being transformed into a thriving natural space or learn the story of William Langdon Woodward, whose statue once stood in Basildon’s town centre and will soon move to Langdon Hills.

All these elements will come together in the Tales of the Fanns festival to offer a new perspective on the area, demonstrate why the Landscape Partnership Scheme was originally initiated and to celebrate the uniqueness of the Land of the Fanns.

Thames Chase Trust, Pike Lane
Upminster, Essex RM14 3NS

01708 642970

To keep posted on all happenings at Land of the Fanns, subscribe to our free newsletter!