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Wrabness Nature Reserve

This 60 acre reserve offers fantastic views on the southern bank of the Stour Estuary. Grassland, scrub and woodland offer a variety of habitats. As does the wonderful adjoining marsh.

The area previously served as a mine depot established by the Ministry of Defence until it closed in 1963. It has been managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust since 2006 and was saved from development in 1992 by the Wrabness Nature Reserve Charitable Trust. The considerable importance of the reserve lies in the population of birds feeding in Jacques Bay.

What to look for:

The reserve is an excellent habitat for a number of birds including Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Turtle Dove, Songthrush, Nightingale, Bullfinch and Short Eared Owl. In addition, Barn Owls regularly hunt over the coarse grassland. There are many wild plants such as Corn Mint, Hairy Buttercup, Sea Aster and Ox-Eye Daisy. The site also offers some wonderful grassland and a whole host of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies can be seen.

In winter, internationally important species visit the area such as Black Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Brent Geese, Shelduck, Redshank, Turnstone, Curlew, Wigeon, Knot, Pintail and Oystercatchers.

Grazing has also been introduced to maintain and improve the grassland. It will prevent vegetation becoming too coarse or scrubby and benefit wild flowers and pollen/nectar loving insects.

There is a hard surfaced path around the reserve making it accessible for those with pushchairs or disabilities.

Public Transport - Wrabness railway station, one mile away via a public footpath. Dogs allowed if under effective control.

Directions - Reached via Whitesheaf Lane, which turns off the B1352 between Bradfield and Wrabness. A turning half left just beyond the railway bridge leads to the car park.

Did you know?

The site has been the subject of numerous planning applications (including an application for a prison in 1968 and 1989).

Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Oakfield Wood Nature Reserve
0 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Copperas Wood Nature Reserve
2 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust
Skipper's Island Nature Reserve
6 miles - Essex Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Nature Reserve
Whitesheaf Lane, which turns off the B1352 between Bradfield and Wrabness
Map reference
TM 167 315
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Accessible at all times
24.30 hectares

There is a hard surfaced path around the reserve, making it accessible for those with pushchairs or disabilities. However, for wheelchair users to access the path, please note that a Radar NKS Key is required to open a gate.
Car park near reserve
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Essex Wildlife Trust
Tel: 1625 862960