Bedfords Park Nature Discovery Centre
Please Note: All Essex Wildlife Trust Centres will be closed on Tuesday 28 November for stock taking
Know before you go
Dogs are not permitted inside the Nature Discovery Centre, and must be kept on a lead on the reserve. Dogs are not permitted on events.
When to visit
Opening timesBedfords Park Nature Discovery Centre is open 7 days a week.
Winter opening hours:
10am – 4pm, 1 November – 10 February.
Summer opening hours:
10am – 5pm, 11 February – 31 October.
Christmas opening hours:
Christmas Eve 10am – 2pm, Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve 10am – 2pm.
Best time to visitAll year
About the reserve
The Nature Discovery Centre offers visitors a really warm welcome and the opportunity to find out about the wildlife within the park. The park includes many valuable habitats such as mature woodland, species rich wildflower meadows, ponds, streams and marshy areas. The Nature Discovery Centre is built on the site of the former mansion and it commands superb views over much of east London and into Kent. Light refreshments, snacks and a gift shop are all within the Nature Discovery Centre and there is a large decked area to relax on sunny days. There are many exotic trees originally planted in the mansion gardens, such as Cedar of Lebanon, Holm Oak, Monkey-puzzle, Giant Redwood and Yew. The Park has wonderful wildflower meadows where you will find Cuckoo Flower, Pignut and Ragged Robin in the Spring. There is varied woodland, several ponds and a lake, as well as a captive herd of Red Deer. Bird highlights include all three species of Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Hobby. Wild deer are often seen (Fallow, Roe and Muntjac). The meadows and ponds provide superb habitats for a variety of invertebrates including a really wide variety of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. Winter sees a large corvid roost, with hundreds of Rooks, Crows and Jackdaws gathering near the deer pen. The upper section of the park offers a more landscaped parkland, while the lower section is managed for wildlife, with hay meadows and some mature woodland and scrub. Dog walking: Dogs can be walked in the park but must be under control, preferably on a lead near the Nature Discovery Centre and deer pen.