Car parking charges will be introduced at the Purfleet Visitor Centre for RSPB Rainham Marshes from Monday 8 January 2024. Parking will remain free for RSPB members and Blue Badge holders. From 8 January, entry to the nature reserve is free.
Not far from the bustling streets of London, Rainham Marshes is a haven for all kinds of wildlife – birds, Water Voles, dragonflies and more. Enjoy an adventure into nature, whether you explore this medieval landscape on foot or by bike. Even if you can’t visit Rainham Marshes in person, you can still soak up some of the peace and quiet of the reserve by taking a moment to listen to the dawn or evening chorus on our RSPB YouTube page.
Rainham Marshes is carefully managed to make sure it has the perfect conditions for its wildlife. We graze cattle and manage water levels to create a patchwork of clumpy wet grassland and semi-permanent pools. This is the ideal habitat for marshland birds such as Lapwings and Redshanks as well as for wintering wildfowl, waders and some birds of prey. The ditches are also looked after to help Water Voles, reptiles, amphibians and minibeasts thrive.
Some areas of the tall grass and scrub are left unmanaged to provide ideal hunting grounds for wintering Short-eared Owls as well as nesting sites for Reed Buntings. We take special care of some of our sandy areas, where some of our specialist insect life likes to live.