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Rushy Mead Nature Reserve

The name Rushy Mead comes from an old tithe map showing the site as riverside meadows. There are good areas of sedge and reed and it is a very good reserve for invertebrates.

More recently it was the site of a pumping station for a sewage works which ceased operations in the 1950s. The current reserve (11.5 acres) was created through an agreement between the site owners, Thames Water plc, Wimpey Homes and Essex Wildlife Trust who manage it now.

What to look for:

The low ground has water near the surface all year and there are good areas of sedge and reed. Their tall, dense growth provides cover for Sedge and Reed warbler in summer, and for Snipe and Water Rail in winter.

The northern end of the site has developed into mature Alder woodland with Ash and Willow. It is a particularly good area for birds including the Willow Tit. Yellow Iris and Wild Angelica are just two of the many plants that flower here in summer. The ditches provide an ideal habitat for a range of wildlife including Marsh Marigold, dragonflies and water beetles.

The drier ground has areas of scrubby woodland and chalky grassland. The latter supports a good variety of wild flowers including Bee Orchid and Wild Carrot.


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

Public Transport - 800m walk from Bishops Stortford station (BR Liverpool St - Cambridge); head south along the towpath. Hourly bus service from Bishops Stortford station passes the main entrance on the A1060.

Directions - One mile south of Bishops Stortford, lying between the A1060 road to Hatfield Heath and the River Stort. It can be entered from the A1060 or from the towpath running alongside the Stort Navigation.

Did you know?

Rushy Mead was historically a sewage works and since this was removed it has become a great reserve for wetland habitat, the old ditches have made the reserve hold water, creating wet woodland known as Alder carr, reed and sedge beds and more recently a large scrape.

Species and habitats

Grassland, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Thorley Wash
1 miles - Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Sawbridgeworth Marsh Nature Reserve
2 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Aubrey Buxton Nature Reserve
5 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Rushy Mead
Nature Reserve
Bishops Stortford
Map reference
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Accessible at all times.
4.60 hectares
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960