Climbing boulders raise nature experience at RSPB Rainham Marshes

Tim Webb

Tuesday 26 April 2016

The RSPB and Sport England have teamed up to get more people outdoors and active. Rainham Marshes nature reserve, just a stone's throw away from London, now hosts the RSPB's first bouldering area.

Working with Serious Climbing, Rainham Marshes has installed two fibreglass boulders onsite, providing a unique environment in which to climb. The boulders' shapes are inspired by birds, three metres high and all the holds are natural features providing an experience similar to that of a natural boulder. With routes graded from V0 up to V5/6, the boulders cater to all ages and abilities; from those wanting a laid back scramble up the bird's tail, to those who want to challenge themselves on the overhanging crack climb on the wing!

From the top of the boulders, you get fantastic views out across the marshes where you might see a marsh harrier soaring up high, or flocks of Lapwing flying over the water. No specialist equipment is needed to climb at Rainham Marshes, but you are more than welcome to bring your own climbing shoes, hand tape, mat and chalk. You can even try making up your own routes!

Entry into the reserve and access to the boulders is free for RSPB members and for local residents of Havering and Thurrock. An entrance fee of £5 for adults and £3 for under-18's is applied if you are a non-member.

Our next workshop will be held on Sunday 8 May from 13:00 to 15:00. Come along and take part in our various climbing games, learn some techniques to improve your climbing or use our friendly starter tips if you're a first time climber! Look out for events such as climbing workshops, mini competitions and beginner rope work on our website:

The bouldering scheme is part of a partnership project with Sport England funded by the National Heritage Lottery called, 'Active in Nature'.

1. The RSPB and Sport England have formed a partnership to encourage more people to actively enjoy nature. The two-year project involves new activities and facilities at two RSPB nature reserves. Together we will offer an events programme based around cycling, running or climbing in wildlife rich surroundings.

2. Sport England is focused on helping people and communities across the country create a sporting habit for life. We will invest over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding between 2012 and 2017 in organisations and projects that will:

· Help more people have a sporting habit for life

· Create more opportunities for young people to play sport

· Nurture and develop talent

· Provide the right facilities in the right places

· Support local authorities and unlock local funding

· Ensure real opportunities for communities.

3. The National Lottery has been changing lives for 20 years. Every week National Lottery players raise over £30 million to help change people's lives across the UK.

4. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654

5. RSPB Rainham Marshes Environment and Education Centre, café and nature reserve is open seven days a week. For more information, please call 01708 899 840 or visit

6. The development of RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve would not be possible without the generous support of RSPB members, supporters and the following organisations: Veolia ES UK (plc), Veolia North Thames Trust, Biffaward, City Bridge Trust, Homes and Communities Agency's Parklands Funding administered by Essex County Council, the EU's Interreg IVA Two Seas Cross-Border Cooperation Programme, the Rose Foundation, Defra's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, Essex County Council, East of England Development Agency, Energy Savings Trust, Environment Agency, Fulham Heating, Heritage Lottery Fund, HSBC, Landfill Communities Fund of Waste Recycling Group Ltd (WRG) administered by the Environmental Body WREN, London Borough of Havering, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Natural England and the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, Rail Link Countryside Initiative, SITA Trust, South Essex Green Grid/Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership, Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Union Railways and Thurrock Council.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Country: England Topic: Health