Howlands Marsh Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationParking is available in a small lay by along the B1027, with space for 3 - 4 cars. The reserve is accessed by walking along the public footpath down the hill to the Nature reserve, approximately 600 metres
Grazing animalsCows grazing from May-October
Sheep grazing from July-November
Please note - there is no public access into the grazed fields
A public footpath passes up the eastern side of the reserve, where a permissive path leads to a hide on stilts with good views over the estuary. There is another hide on stilts on the southern end of the reserve. There are no circular paths around the reserve or public access into the grazed fields and along the seawall
The main footpath is a rough track with uneven areas and steps to access the hides on stilts
When to visit
Opening timesAccessible at all times
Best time to visitWinter for overwintering birds, Spring/Summer for great views of Marsh Harriers
About the reserve
Sea Wormwood and Golden Samphire grow among the mud in the saltmarsh that fringes the seawall where Flag and St Osyth creeks meet.
Look out across the reserve at a wild landscape of hummocky grassland filled with Reeds, Sedge, Spiny Restharrow and Spring Whitlow-grass, interlaced with dykes and fleets, where you can find Water-Crowfoot, Lesser Water-parsnip and Tufted Forget-Me-Not thriving.
Skylarks, Lapwing, Reed Warblers and Reed Bunting can be seen flying over the grassland, choosing to stay and breed here in the spring.
Listen out for the distinctive calls of overwintering Brent Geese and other wildfowl in winter, grazing among flocks of Curlew. Barn Owls and Marsh Harriers can often be seen gliding over the reserve in search of prey.