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Woodham Fen

31ac/13ha  SSSI, SPA

Grid ref: TQ 798 975 (click for o/s map)

Updated 04/06/2021.

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This is former common land between and near the tidal limits of two small creeks running south into the River Crouch. The southern part is saltmarsh and the northern rough grassland with a transitional zone between the two – of special interest because this natural transition is now very unusual in Essex. It has a wide range of saltmarsh plants, including sea wormwood, and the grassland is full of wild flowers, including slender birdsfoot trefoil, grass vetchling and wild carrot.

It attracts many breeding birds, including reed bunting, yellow wagtail and meadow pipit, and a variety of small waders occur on passage. Teal, snipe and rock pipit can be seen in winter, when kingfishers hunt along the creeks for eels. Barn owls and other birds of prey hunt over the grassland for the many field voles.

Essex skipper and a number of the other common butterflies are abundant, as are common lizards and slow worms.


Just west of South Woodham Ferrers. Can be reached from the A132 (Basildon/Wickford–Woodham) at the Shaw Farm roundabout, 4.5 miles from Wickford, where it meets the B1012, or from Ferrers Road, which leads into the town. SatNav: CM3 5XH.

About five minutes' walk from the railway station at South Woodham Ferrers via the waymarked footpath from the rear of the station car park.

Accessible at all times.

Mid-summer onwards for wild flowers and butterflies; migration periods and winter for birds.

Paths can be very muddy in winter. Guides to the reserve are available from Woodham Town Council office in Reeves Way or Town Information Office in Baron Road Parade.

© Roger Jones