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Cranham Marsh Nature Reserve

This 32 acre reserve is all that remains of a marshland habitat that once covered many square miles of southern Essex. It contains a variety of habitats including marsh, Sedge Fen (one of the best surviving in Essex) and ancient woodland.

This 32 acre reserve is all that remains of a marshland habitat that once covered much of south Essex, but which has now mostly been converted to arable farming. It contains a variety of habitats including marsh, sedge fen (one of the best surviving in Essex) and ancient woodland.

What to look for:

The three small woods consist mainly of Hazel coppice, with some very large Oak and Ash trees, patches of Wild Cherry and a grove of Alder. Dogwood, Guelder Rose, Spindle and Midland Hawthorn are also found here indicating it is very old woodland. The grassland across the south of the reserve is bisected by old reed-filled drainage ditches. It contains a large concentration of Betony, and, in the wetter patches, Southern Marsh Orchids, Marsh Marigold and Ragged Robin. It also has three large patches of the rare Yellow Loosestrife.

The reserve attracts marshland birds such as Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting with Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers and Tawny Owl in the woods. Kestrel and Sparrowhawk nest in the large trees regularly, and sometimes Hobby. Grass Snakes are often seen in the grassland and there is abundant insect life. Twenty three butterfly species have been recorded, including Small Copper, Wall Brown and Speckled Wood.

Accessible at all times but please keep dogs on leads near livestock and under control elsewhere.

Directions - Access via Argyle Gardens or The Chase, both of which run south off St Mary's Lane (B187) with footpaths leading on to the reserve.

Public Transport - Upminster station is about 20 minutes walk. Bus 248 from Upminster stations runs along St Marys Lane.

Did you know?

Parts of the wood are coppiced on a 12-year cycle.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Grassland, Wetland, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre
2 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Warley Place Nature Reserve
3 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Chafford Gorges Nature Park
4 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Cranham Marsh
Nature Reserve
Nr Upminster
Essex
Map reference
TQ 567 856
Great for...
birdwatching
butterflies
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Accessible at all times.
Size
12.95 hectares
Walking information
Please keep dogs on a lead near livestock.
Parking
yes
Dogs
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960
admin@essexwt.org.uk