Lexden Gathering Grounds Nature Reserve

Lexden Gathering Grounds 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Photo - Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION

Lexden Gathering Grounds
Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly - Zsuzsanna Bird

Lexden Gathering Grounds Nature Reserve

Why not visit this beautiful wooded reserve filled with spring flowers, butterflies and foraging mammals


Cooks Lane

OS Map Reference

A static map of Lexden Gathering Grounds Nature Reserve

Know before you go

9 hectares

Parking information

Park on the side of Cooks Lane

Walking trails

Circular footpaths around the wood


Slight inclines, unsurfaced paths, can be muddy in places


Dogs permitted
Under effective control

When to visit

Opening times

Accessible at all times

Best time to visit

April to July

About the reserve

In spring, this small reserve comes alive with Bluebells and Climbing Corydalis covering the steep sides of the valley, below the branches of Birch and Ash, leading down to the partially wooded marsh at the bottom. Old hazel, Alder coppice and Moschatel grow in the marsh, while Common Brown and Small Copper butterflies can be seen flitting through the meadow in summer.

Owned by Anglian Water but managed by Essex Wildlife Trust, wildlife abundance and diversity have been increased, with ‘rides’ opened up to encourage butterflies and other invertebrates, and a pond dug for aquatic life.

Scots Pine, Beech and Oak planted in the 60s add further to the mix of trees, home to Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Sparrowhawks and many other woodland birds. At dusk Foxes and Badgers can be seen starting to move around the reserve.

Environmental designation

Local Wildlife Site (LWS)
Lexden Gathering Grounds 3

Did you know?

This site was formerly a ‘gathering ground’ for water from constantly flowing springs and was used as water source from the turn of the century until the mid-1970s