Grid ref: TM 054 215 (click for o/s map)
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Cockaynes Wood is an ancient woodland near Wivenhoe, but the reserve also includes another small wood, Villa Wood, and a former quarry, now restored to heath, grassland and ponds. It is managed by Essex Wildlife Trust and Cockaynes Wood Trust under lease from the owners, Brett Group.
With its variety of habitats, the reserve is important for invertebrates, including white admiral, green hairstreak and small heath butterfies. Amphibians and birds such as little grebe, lapwing, redshank and reed bunting frequent the ponds and damper areas, and willow warbler, linnet and turtle dove the open habitats.
A stream runs through Villa Wood, lined with ferns and aquatic plants, and honeysuckle climbs high into some of the trees.
Between Wivenhoe and Alresford, accessed via a public footpath that runs north from Wivenhoe Road about 1km west of Alresford, or from Cockaynes Lane in Alresford. Vehicle access is via a track that leaves the Wivenhoe–Alresford road just north of the railway, on the eastern side. Park in the former quarry yard.
Accessible at all times.