Little Waltham Meadows Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationSmall car parking with height barrier
Grazing animalsYes, cattle in spring, summer and autumn
Footpaths and a Green Lane lead through the reserve
Gently sloping down to the river, with un-surfaced paths
When to visit
Opening timesAccessible at all times
Best time to visitSpring 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.
Did you know?
Newland Grove adjoins Little Waltham Meadows by a footpath which follows the River Chelmer, with great views along the river bank