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Lexden Gathering Grounds Nature Reserve

This 22 acre site was formerly a 'gathering ground' for water from constantly flowing springs. It offers visitors a wonderful woodland with a partially wooded marsh at the bottom and meadow beyond.

This 22 acre site was formerly a 'gathering ground' for water from constantly flowing springs and used as a water source from the turn of the century until the mid 1970s. It is owned by Anglian Water, who operate the covered reservoir and treatment works nearby, and managed by Essex Wildlife Trust.

In the 1960s parts of the site were planted with Scots Pine and with Beech and Oak. Between the woodlands lies a valley with semi natural woodland of Birch and Ash on the steep slopes and a partially wooded marsh at the bottom, with a meadow beyond it.

What to look for:

The valley has many Bluebells and Climbing Corydalis. The marsh has Moschatel and old Hazel and Alder Coppice.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Sparrowhawks and many other woodland birds are present. Mammals that are found within this nature reserve include Fox and Badger. In the meadow in summer you will see the Common-brown Butterflies and Small Copper.

Essex Wildlife Trust managing the site to improve the mix of trees and the ground flora. Rides (open areas) have been widened and are kept open to help butterflies and other invertebrates.

Accessible at all times. Dogs allowed if under effective control.

Public Transport - Bus services run along Lexden Road to the south.

Directions - The entrance is on Cooks Lane off Cymbeline Way (A133) about 50m from its junction with the A12 at Lexden Road.

Did you know?

Water levels have been raised in the marsh and a pond has been dug, fed by the original springs.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Wetland, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Iron Latch Nature Reserve
1 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Westhouse Wood Nature Reserve
1 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Roman River Valley Nature Reserve
3 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Lexden Gathering Grounds
Nature Reserve
Cooks Lane
Cymbeline Way (A133)
Lexden
Essex
Map reference
TL 966 253
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Accessible at all times.
Size
8.90 hectares
Parking
yes
Dogs
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960
admin@essexwt.org.uk