Back to reserve map

Phyllis Currie Nature Reserve

This 22 acre nature reserve is an attractive and varied landscape in its own right with a large lake, secondary woodland, scrub, pine plantation and meadow.

This 22 acre nature reserve was left to the Essex Wildlife Trust by Mrs Phyllis Currie. Phyllis Currie is an interesting nature reserve with a varied landscape and as such offers ideal habitats to an abundance of plants, birds and insects.

What to look for:

The reserve is home to a wide variety of plants, birds and insects. It has an extremely attractive lake, which is one of the focal points of the reserve, this was created in the stream valley in the 1960s. The lake, streams and ditches are valuable breeding sites for dragonflies and damselflies and 13 species have been recorded.

23 species of butterlies have been recorded, the grassland and sheltered glades and rides provide ideal breeding sites for butterflies. If visiting the reserve you may have the opportunity to see Kingfisher and Grey Heron.

A reedbed has been created, a shallow pool excavated and dams installed to raise the water level in the main stream. The Scots Pine plantation is being thinned to favour native trees. A plantation of hybrid Poplar and Sycamore is being felled in blocks and replanted with native tree species grown from local seed.


Accessible at all times. There is a wheelchair path leading from both entrances and around the lake. Dogs allowed if under effective control. Please keep dogs on leads at all times.

Public Transport - regular buses run to St Anne's Castle pub from Braintree and Chelmsford.

Directions - In Dumney Lane, Great Leighs. Take the road to Felsted and at the St Anne's Castle pub in Great Leighs, Dumney Lane is the first right turning.

Did you know?

Phyllis Currie has a beautiful wildflower glade which was once the graves for the dogs belonging to Phyllis Currie the original owner of the reserve.

Species and habitats

Standing water, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Sandylay and Moat Woods Nature Reserve
1 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Little Waltham Meadows Nature Reserve
4 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Newland Grove Nature Reserve
5 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Phyllis Currie
Nature Reserve
Dumney Lane
Great Leighs
Map reference
TL 723 182
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Accessible at all times
8.90 hectares

Wheelchair path leading from both entrances around the lake
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960