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Lion Creek and Lower Raypits Nature Reserve

This 161 acre reserve is a former creek on the southern shore of the Crouch estuary . The creek contains brackish water and in late summer has an attractive border of salt marsh plants such as Sea Lavender, Golden Samphire and Sea-spurrey.

This 161 acre nature reserve was purchased by Essex Wildlife Trust in 1986. At one time it was a former creek on the southern shore of the Crouch estuary. It was cut off from the estuary by a new seawall, and is bounded on three sides by the old one. The creek contains brackish water and in late summer has an attractive border of salt marsh plants such as Sea Lavender, Golden Samphire and Sea Spurrey.

What to look for:

Above the zone affected by salt water, Sea Couch and False Oat are the dominant grasses, with a mixture of tall herbs. Where the grass is shorter, smaller plants can be found, including the localised Slender Birds-foot Trefoil and, on the seawall, Sea Clover. /p>

From the bird hide you can see many waders and ducks. In winter birds of prey such as Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl hunt over the grassland and seawalls. The meadow alongside the creek was added to the reserve later, and supports a range of plants and insects including the Shrill Carder Bee, a national priority species.

Lower Raypits can be reached via the seawall path. It consists of saltmarsh, permanent pasture and seawalls. It is an important complex of saltmarsh, intertidal and grazing habitats that serves as a notable feeding and roosting area for wildfowl and waders, inclusing Brent Geese. Dykes and seawalls support nationally scarce plants, including Beaked Tasselweed, Sea Barley, Curved Hard-grass and Grass Vetchling.

It is a good site for invertebrates such as Rosels Bush Cricket.

Accessible at all times. Dogs restricted to certain areas or to certain specified times.

Public Transport - Nothing suitable.

Directions - Entry is from the Canewdon-Wallasea Island road, 2km east of Canewdon village. There is limited local parking and beware of flooding along the road at high spring tides.

Did you know?

The seawall was damaged in 2007 and a section has been rebuilt, and at the same time a scrape, featuring special water vole islands, and a small saline lagoon were created.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Wetland

Nearby nature reserves

Blue House Farm Nature Reserve
5 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Stow Maries Halt Nature Reserve
6 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Gunners Park and Shoebury Ranges Nature Reserve
7 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Lion Creek and Lower Raypits Nature Reserve
Canewdon-Wallasea island Road 2km east of Canewdon village
Canewdon
Essex
Map reference
TQ 923 948
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Accessible at all times.
Size
65.15 hectares
Access
Parking
Limited local parking
Dogs
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960
admin@essexwt.org.uk