Cranham Marsh Nature Reserve
Know before you go
1.5 km of circular walking trails
Accessible at all times but trails may be muddy in winter
When to visit
Opening timesAccessible at all times
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
Escape the surrounding urban environment and get away from it all on this old marshland with large areas of ancient woodland.
Purple Betony flowers and bright Yellow Loosestrife line the grassland whilst in wetter areas you might find a Southern Marsh Orchid, a purple-pink Ragged Robin and the bright gold of a Marsh Marigold. This reserve is fantastic for insects with 23 butterfly species recorded here. Look out for the Wall Brown butterfly basking on the warm ground on sunny days.
Look out for the magnificent sight of hunting Kestrels and Sparrowhawks, as they carry their prey back into the woodland where they nest. You are likely to hear the knocking sound of Great spotted woodpecker echoing from the woods and from dusk listen out for the hooting Tawny Owls calling to each other.
This nature reserve is an example of what the countryside would have looked like before the urban sprawl.