You'll find this reserve to the east of Colchester, on the estuary of the River Stour. There’s lots to enjoy here, especially in winter, when there are huge numbers of water birds on the shore. In spring, the woodland comes alive with birdsong and colourful wild flowers.

The woodland sits right next to the estuary, which means you can sometimes hear woodpeckers and waders, or Dunnocks and ducks at the same time.

Discover ancient woodland flora, with a superb display of Wood Anemones and Bluebells in spring. In summer, see a vibrant butterfly population, while autumn brings lots of fungi to spot. These woods are also home to one of our rarest (and sleepiest) species in the UK – the dormouse!

The woods are mainly Sweet Chestnut, probably the descendants of trees planted by the Romans 2,000 years ago. We still coppice the woods today, as it’s the best way to keep the woodland just right for its wildlife.

At a glance

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