Lion Creek and Lower Raypits Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationNo parking available
Walk along the seawall public footpath and use the permissive footpaths to access the nature watching hides at Lower Raypits and Lion Creek
Accessible all year round
Please be aware of flooding along the road during high spring tides
When to visit
Opening timesAccessible at all times
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
Lion Creek was once part of the Crouch estuary, until it was cut off by a seawall. Now the creek boasts an attractive border of saltmarsh plants such as sea lavender, golden samphire and sea-spurrey. This meadow alongside the creek also provides a home for a number of exciting invertebrates, including the UK’s rarest bee, the shrill carder. Walk further along the seawall path to reach Lower Raypits. Here, there has been significant habitat management for breeding waders.
Both reserves have bird hides to watch the thousands of waders and wildfowl gathering in the wet winter months. Keep your eyes on the skies as well though as these reserves are great for the increasingly rare hen harrier and short-eared owls also hunt over the grassland. Listen out for the plop of a water vole as special water vole islands were created that now support a good population of this endangered mammal.