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Iron Latch Nature Reserve

This 10.5 acre reserve consists of a flower-rich meadow, plus four acres of woodland, long established and possibly ancient. It is quite wet in parts with a good selection of trees, especially Ash.

This 10.5 acre reserve consists of a flower-rich meadow, plus four acres of woodland, long established and possibly ancient. It is quite wet in parts with a good selection of trees, especially ash.

What to look for:

In the 1950s the meadow reverted to secondary woodland. This was cleared by the Trust in the 1980s with the aim of recovering the species rich grassland which once held colonies of Green-winged and Common Spotted Orchids. Now it is managed by mowing and sheep grazing.

Wild and barren Strawberry and Birdsfoot Trefoil flower in the meadow. Birdsfoot trefoil is a foodplant of the Common Blue butterfly and several other butterfly species are a special feature. Purple Hairstreaks can be seen around the hedgerow Oaks.

Nightingales nest in the coppiced woodland and in the managed hedgerows, and also in the neighbouring woodland that has developed on old gravel workings.

Accessible at all times but please keep dogs on a lead near livestock.

Directions - Three miles west of Colchester at Eight Ash Green. You can enter the nature reserve by the unmade Iron Latch Lane, which is off the Halstead Road. Cross over the railway bridge and continue along the lane with the woodland on your left. The reserve lies to the right of the footpath at the end of the field on your right.

Public Transport - Buses from Colchester to Fordham and Wakes Colne run along the Halstead Road.

Did you know?

In the summer there are a good number of Glow Worms to be seen at Iron Latch.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Meadow, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Lexden Gathering Grounds Nature Reserve
1 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Westhouse Wood Nature Reserve
2 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Roman River Valley Nature Reserve
3 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Iron Latch
Nature Reserve
Eight Ash Green
Colchester
Essex
Map reference
TL950259
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Accessible at all times
Size
4.25 hectares
Parking
yes
Dogs
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960
admin@essexwt.org.uk