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Stour Wood

135ac/55ha  SSSI

Grid ref: TM 192 311 (click for o/s map)

Updated 10/01/2011

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Stour Wood is one of the best ancient sweet chestnut woods in Essex. It was worked as coppice until the 1970s and coppicing has since been resumed by the RSPB, to whom the Woodland Trust has leased the wood. It has a mixture of trees apart from sweet chestnut, including a few surviving small-leaved lime and many maple on the edge of the wood. Some unusual flowers characteristic of ancient woodland are herb paris, sweet woodruff and early purple orchid.

It is full of birdsong in spring and early summer. Among the butterflies look out for white admiral, flying in July, a woodland butterfly that is common in woods further south and west but rare in East Anglia.


North of the B1352 from Ramsey to Manningtree, between the villages of Wrabness and Ramsey. Turn off the A120 Colchester-Harwich road on to the B1352. The main entrance to Stour Wood, with car park, is signposted from the road; Copperas Wood is 300 yards down a public footpath (the route of the Essex Way) beside a large white flat-roofed house, with parking for one or two cars on the verge. Copperas Bay and its bird hides can be reached via either.

Stour Wood is about 800m walk from Wrabness rail station via a public footpath. A bus service from Colchester to Harwich via Wrabness runs along the B1352 past the entrances to Stour and Copperas Woods.

Accessible at all times.

May and June, when wild flowers are everywhere and migrant birds such as the nightingale are in full voice; autumn and winter for the hardy and the birdwatcher, for good views of the birds in Copperas Bay.

Photo © Owen Keen