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Little Haven Nature Reserve

This 92 acre nature reserve is leased from the Little Haven's Children's Hospice. It supports a variety of habitats; woodland, scrub, meadows and mature hedges. It is one of 25 sites in the country where the Heath Fritillary, one of our rarest butterflies, is well established.

This 92 acre nature reserve was formerly part of Wyburns Farm and is now leased from the Little Haven's Children's Hospice. It supports a variety of habitats; woodland, scrub, meadows and mature hedges. Little Haven nature reserve includes Wyburns Wood and is adjacent to Tile Wood, it forms an important wildlife corridor in an otherwise urban area.

It is one of 25 sites in the country where the Heath Fritillary, one of our rarest butterflies, is well established.

What to look for:

Dense hedges, rich in tree and shrub species, provide important nesting sites for summer migrants such as the Whitethroat and autumn berries for Redwings and Fieldfares. Essex Wildlife Trust use their own herd of sheep, known as the 'Flying Flock' to regularly graze the meadows in the reserve.

The tree species in Little Haven are predominately sessile Oak, Hornbeam and Sweet Chestnut. It is particularly rich in ancient woodlland plants, including Wood Sorrel, Bluebell and Wood-rush, and has many wood ants.

The Heath Fritillary colony is well established and adults can be seen on the wing in June and July and are very easy to see on warm, sunny days. In 2007, 65 adult butterflies were recorded and in 2008 this number increased to 135. This new colony has become established where the Trust has adopted the management of trees under power lines. Management in this area has created an open corridor with coppice from one to four years old and an abundance of Cow Wheat. However, if the colony is to survive, the habitat will need to be managed to provide a suitable micro-climate to support the butterfly in all stages of its life cycle.

Accessible at all times but to minimise disturbance to wildlife, please keep to the designated paths. Dogs allowed if under effective control. Please keep dogs on leads when there is livestock on Little Haven.

Public Transport: Frequent bus services along Rayleigh Road (A129). An hourly bus service (excluding Sundays) serves Daws Heath Road.

Directions - Turn south off the A127 at Rayleigh Weir onto Rayleigh Road (A129) and turn left onto Daws Heath road at the Woodmans Arms mini roundabout. Or join the A129 from the A13 and turn right onto Daws Heath Road. Park on local streets with consideration for residents.

Did you know?

Wyburns Wood contains a complex range of tree and plants species, indicating its ancient origins.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Meadow, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Tile Wood Nature Reserve
0 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Pound Wood Nature Reserve
1 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Belfairs Woodland Centre
2 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Little Haven
Nature Reserve
Thundersley
Benfleet
Essex
SS7 2LH
Map reference
TQ808890
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Accessible at all times
Size
37.23 hectares
Parking
Park on local streets with consideration for residents
Dogs
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960
admin@essexwt.org.uk