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The Chase

120ac/49ha  LNR

Grid ref: TQ 515 860 (click for o/s map)

Updated 11/06/2021.

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This nature reserve is former gravel workings. When extraction finished in the late 1960s some of the pits escaped infilling and formed a valuable wetland habitat of seasonal ponds, lakes and marshes.

The Chase is of interest principally for its birds. Kingfisher, skylark, little ringed plover and lapwing all breed here. Teal, snipe and shoveler visit in winter.

The River Rom flows down its eastern fringe. This stretch has been straightened and deepened at both ends but in between it meanders in a natural channel and supports water voles.

The grassland is moderately rich in flowers including some unusual ones such as spiny restharrow and haresfoot clover. At its southern end it is grazed by horses.


Signposted from Dagenham Road which runs south from Rush Green Road (A124 Upminster–Hornchurch–Dagenham). Pedestrian access from Upper Rainham Road, parking beside the road. SatNav: RM7 0SS.

15-minute walk from Dagenham East station via footpaths.

Accessible at all times.

May for breeding birds on the lakes, with gorse and hawthorn in flower; September to March for birds on passage and wintering in the reserve.

To avoid disturbing the birds, please do not go inside the fence around The Slack and keep dogs under strict control. Call the Eastbrookend rangers on 020 8595 4155.

© Alan Cooper