John Weston Nature Reserve

John Weston

Photo - Peter Bowden

Cetti's Warbler

Cetti's Warbler - Andrew Armstrong 

John Weston
Just around the corner from The Naze Centre you'll find John Weston Nature Reserve, an important site for passing birds in the spring and autumn


John Weston Nature Reserve
CO14 8LF

OS Map Reference

A static map of John Weston Nature Reserve

Know before you go

4 hectares

Parking information

Pay and display car park at the Naze centre, walk along the cliffs northwards until you reach the northern seawall

Bicycle parking

Yes (at the Naze centre)

Grazing animals

Cows grazing from May-October
Sheep grazing from July-August

Walking trails

A footpath leads to and around the reserve


Walk along the cliffs northwards, until you reach the northern seawall with views of the reserve to the south


Dogs permitted
Under effective control

When to visit

Opening times

Accessible at all times

Best time to visit

Spring/summer for migrant birds autumn/winter for overwintering birds

About the reserve

Tucked away at the Northern end of the Naze public space is the John Weston nature reserve, so called after the reserves late Warden and leading Essex Naturalist, John Weston.

Rough grassland, Blackthorn and Bramble thickets and four ponds hold host to a variety of wildlife, including flowering plants and grasses such as Parsley Water-dropwort, Pepper Saxifrage, and Bush Grass.

During the spring and summer, the reserve comes alive with song and movement, from flitting butterflies to calling Common and Lesser Whitethroats. Listen carefully for the distinctive call of the Water Rail; if you’re lucky you may even spot one hiding at the edge of the reeds. Like the Water Rail, Cetti’s Warblers are more likely to be heard than seen.

Though small, this reserve is an important landfall for autumn and spring migrants while also attracting a range of winter visitors. If you are visiting, make sure to pop in to The Naze Centre for a cup of tea and a slice of cake!

Environmental designation

National Nature Reserve (NNR)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Protection Areas (SPA)
Red cliffs at The Naze

Did you know?

The large cliffs found just around the corner of the reserve are an incredibly important geological feature. They are made up of different sediment layers, most importantly 'Red Crag', a sandy deposit formed around 3 million years ago when the sea covered most of Essex. The cliffs are full of fossils!