Become a member

Help us save nature at places like this. From £3 a month.

Print page


Before you arrive

  • Open between 6 am and 7 pm (or dusk if earlier)
  • Free, but donations via cairn gratefully received
  • No toilets, shop or catering on site. Usually unstaffed
  • Three large print information boards, including one in car park
  • Nearest railway station Wrabness, 1 mile (1.5 km) away. No taxi rank
  • Buses (Harwich to Colchester via Manningtree, hourly service Mon-Sat) stop at entrance on request
  • Registered assistance dogs welcome on leads. Other dogs in Stour Wood and public rights of way only.

Car parking 

  • Signposted off the B1352 Manningtree to Harwich Road
  • Hard-surfaced car park for up to 30 cars
  • Height restrictions of 2 m. Alternative parking by roadside
  • May reach capacity during Easter and autumn holidays.

Nature trails

  • Mixture of flat and undulating paths of up to 5 miles (7 km) length
  • All trails clearly signposted with white arrows and/or wooden signs
  • Stour Wood circular route, 0.5 mile (1 km): wide and flat, and without kissing gates. Natural clay surface which can become muddy
  • Most paths on upward or downward slopes surfaced to improve grip
  • Circuit from Stour Wood to Stour Estuary and back, 2.5 miles (3.5 km) long has some difficult terrain and four solid kissing gates to prevent bicycle and motorcycle access.

Viewing facilities

  • Two bird hides. A viewing screen with viewing slots at different heights
  • Deep Fleet hide has near-level entry. Five or more steps leading to both Copperas Bay viewing screen and Bramble Creek hide
  • The route to both hides is around two hours, with many steps, small bridges and moderately steep slopes across a range of path surfaces
  • The estuary is also viewable from public footpaths and from a vehicle from a number of lay-bys.

Public toilets

  • Nearest public toilets, including accessible facilities and baby changing, in Manningtree or Harwich, 4 miles (6 km) in either direction.

Picnic area

  • Two picnic tables, with some space between benches.


  • Small shop in Wrabness, near railway station
  • Larger choice in Manningtree or Harwich.

For more information