Wardens hut at Colne Point

Photo - Peter Bowden 

Beach at Colne Point

Photo - Peter Bowden 

Colne Point Aerial

Photo - Terry Joyce

Colne Point is an impressive expanse of saltmarsh, creek and shingle, running along the coastline at the mouth of the Colne Estuary


Beach Road
Off Lee Wick Farm
St Osyth
CO16 8ET

OS Map Reference

TM 108 124
A static map of Colne Point Nature Reserve

Know before you go

276 hectares

Parking information

Car park available but is liable to flooding in high tides

Walking trails

A path leads up along Brightlingsea Reach to a hide at the end


There are shingle paths, where the terrain can be difficult at points. The reserve is liable to flooding and people can be cut off - check tide times before going 


No dogs permitted


Bird hides

When to visit

Opening times

Accessible at all times (except at high tide)

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Ray Creek winds through the maze of saltmarsh before flowing past the long shingle ridge that hugs the coastline. The mix of exposed mudflats, shell banks and shingle pools are host to a plethora of migratory waders in spring and autumn, providing a rich feeding ground, while during the winter months you can hear the distinctive ‘ruk-ruk-ruk’ of Brent Geese. Looking skywards, the reserve is an important point on the migratory route for many Finches, Chats, Pipits, Skylarks, Swallows and Martins. In the summer a small colony of Little Terns can be seen on the shingle bank, where they occasionally nest in this ideal habitat, along with many other breeding birds.

Look to the ground and you may catch site of some of the rare invertebrates that call this reserve home, with plenty of solitary bees and wasps that nest down in the sandy substrate. Colne Point is one of the only sites in the country to find a rare spider species that lives in the shingle!

In the rich saltmarsh habitat, you can find rare plant species such as Golden Samphire and Small cord-grass, while across the shingle and sand ridge Yellow Horned Poppy, Sea Poppy, Bindweed and Spurge thrive.

Contact us

Environmental designation

Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ)
National Nature Reserve (NNR)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Protection Areas (SPA)
Colne Point from the air

Photo - Terry Joyce

Did you know?

The Point is the best developed spit on the Essex coast!