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Bowers Marsh

667ac/270ha  

Grid ref: TQ 755 867 (click for o/s map)


Updated 10/12/2020.

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Bowers Marsh is former grazing marsh, drained 60 or so years ago to grow arable crops. Acquired by RSPB with support from Veolia, who operate the tip nearby, water levels have been raised to create freshwater and saline lagoons and to reinvigorate the original ditches, which now are lined with reeds and other aquatic plants.

Large numbers of birds occupy the lagoons and wet flushes in winter. Most noticeable are the gulls, resting from feeding on the tip nearby, alongside large flocks of lapwing, and some teal and shoveler. Flocks of geese and wigeon feed on the grassland. Such a quantity of potential prey attracts raptors such as marsh harriers.

In spring, lapwings display and skylarks spiral up in song as they prepare to breed. Cetti's and reed warblers nest along the ditches, and in summer dragonflies such as four-spotted chaser and ruddy darter emerge.

Visiting

South-east of Pitsea, reached via Church Lane, which turns south off London Road (B1464) about 1km east of Pitsea. For part of the way, Church Lane is an uneven single track with passing places, with deep puddles in wet weather. SatNav: SS13 2EZ.

Two miles from Pitsea station (Fenchurch St line) – turn right out of Station Approach then right into Brackendale Avenue, then follow the footpath beside the railway to Church Road, turning right down to the reserve.

Accessible at all times. Car park open daily 9am to 5pm except Xmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year.

Mid-October to March for wintering birds; April–June for breeding birds; summer for flying insects.

Loose-surfaced flattish paths throughout, but with shallow standing water in places in winter.

No dogs allowed except assistance dogs. On public footpaths please keep dogs on leads.


© Tony Gunton