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John Weston Nature Reserve

This 9 acre reserve lies within the Naze public open space. It consists of Blackthorn and bramble thickets, rough grassland and four ponds or 'scrapes', three of them excavated since the reserve was established.

This 9 acre reserve lies within the Naze public open space. It consists of Blackthorn and bramble thickets, rough grassland and four ponds or 'scrapes', three of them excavated since the reserve was established. It is named after the late John Weston, a leading Essex naturalist who was warden of the reserve until his death in 1984.

What to look for:

Nesting birds include Common and Lesser Whitethroat, joined recently by Cetti's Warbler. Water Rail are seen and heard regularly. It is an important landfall for migrants, including many rarities, and also attracts a variety of winter visitors.

Notable among its flowering plants and grasses are Parsley Water-dropwort, Slender Thistle, Pepper Saxifrage, Fenugreek and Bush Grass.

A circular path runs along the eastern section and is good for butterflies and other insects in summer.

Access is restricted. The reserve acts mainly as a sanctuary although organised and casual visits are possible.

Directions - Head northwards along the coast road into Walton with the sea on your right. By the Eastcliffe Hotel take the left fork and follow Hall Lane and Naze Park Road for about a mile. This will bring you to the public car park on the cliff top where the tower is and footpaths run from there.

Public Transport - Regular buses run from Clacton and Frinton via Walton station (train link to Colchester) and from the bus station on the front.

Small site not suitable for dog walking.

Did you know?

The cliffs are important geologically beacuse of a spectacular exposure of a sandy deposit called Red Crag, formed about 3 million years ago when the sea covered most of Essex and containing large numbers of fossils.

 

Species and habitats

Habitats
Grassland, Standing water

Nearby nature reserves

The Naze Centre
1 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Skipper's Island Nature Reserve
3 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Great Holland Pits Nature Reserve
5 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
John Weston
Nature Reserve
Walton-on-the-Naze
Essex
Map reference
TM 266 245
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Reserve accessible at all times
Size
3.64 hectares
Walking information
Dogs are permitted under control; dogs must be kept on leads when grazing animals are present
Parking
Public car park on the cliff top, next to the Naze Tower
Dogs
Dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Sheep, at certain times of year
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960
admin@essexwt.org.uk