Little Waltham Meadows Nature Reserve

Bee Orchid

Photo - Dawn Monrose

Little Waltham Meadows Nature Reserve

On the east bank of the River Chelmer, you’ll find Little Waltham Meadows, a beautiful mix of old flood and dry meadows and Alder Carr woodland, bursting with wildlife


Back Lane
Little Waltham

OS Map Reference

A static map of Little Waltham Meadows Nature Reserve

Know before you go

9 hectares

Parking information

Small car parking with height barrier

Grazing animals

Yes, cattle in spring, summer and autumn

Walking trails

Footpaths and a Green Lane lead through the reserve 


Gently sloping down to the river, with un-surfaced paths


Dogs permitted
Under effective control

When to visit

Opening times

Accessible at all times

Best time to visit

Spring and summer

About the reserve

Wander through the meadows where Kestrels hunt among the Bee Orchids, Saxifrage and Marsh Marigold, passing the network of ancient pollard and coppiced hedgerows. Tawny Owls and Sparrowhawks use these stools of Elm, Hawthorn, Hazel, Willow, Alder and Oak to hunt for their prey. In the summer Kestrels raise their young alongside the meandering River Chelmer.

Water Voles can be seen among the Water Lilies, Brooklime, and Flag Iris in the river, where Emperor Dragonflies, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter and Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonflies zoom over the surface. In the day, Kingfishers wait patiently for fish to pass by while bats flit over the river and meadows on warm summer evenings.

Little Waltham Meadows was first acquired by Essex Wildlife trust in 1996 with the help of a local appeal and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Contact us

Environmental designation

Local Wildlife Site (LWS)
Little Waltham Meadows

Photo - Glyn Baker/Geograph 

Did you know?

Newland Grove adjoins Little Waltham Meadows by a footpath which follows the River Chelmer, with great views along the river bank