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Shotgate Thickets Nature Reserve

This 8 acre reserve is remnant oak woodland situated on the north bank of the tidal River Crouch and consists of thorn thickets, rough grassland and two large ponds, providing good habitats for Great Crested Newts and Water Voles.

What to look for:

This small reserve has a surprising diversity of habitats and, consequently, of wildlife. Well over 100 plant species can be found including Golden Dock and Dyer's Greenweed. More than 70 bird species have been recorded, about half of which breed on or near the reserve.

The ponds teem with life and eleven species of dragonfly have been identified, including the Emerald Damselfly and Black-tailed Skimmer. Butterflies are numerous. Among the other insects Roesel's Bush Cricket is found in good numbers.

The reserve is at its best in mid to late spring when scrub and wood resound with birdsong.

Public Transport - Frequent buses along the A129 or train to Battlesbridge.

Small site not suitable for dog walking.

Directions - 800m south-west of Battlesbridge. Access is either through Southlands farm (parking at the far end of the farm road) or west along the river bank from Battlesbridge, starting close to the Hawk public house.

Did you know?

The nature reserve adjoins the river bank and railway embankment which gives it such a good diversity of habitats.

Species and habitats

Grassland, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Woodham Fen Nature Reserve
3 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Crowsheath Wood Nature Reserve
3 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
3 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Shotgate Thickets
Nature Reserve
800m south-west of Battlesbridge
Map reference
TQ 765 939
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
3.24 hectares
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01621 862960