Stanford Warren Nature Reserve

Cuckoo and Reed Warbler David Tipling 2020 Vision

David Tipling / 2020 Vision

bearded tit

Danny Green/2020VISION

Stanford Warren Nature Reserve

Walk alongside one of the largest reedbeds in Essex in this Thameside nature reserve and listen out for the famous call of the cuckoo in the summer.


Mucking Wharf Road

OS Map Reference

TQ 687 812
A static map of Stanford Warren Nature Reserve

Know before you go

17 hectares

Parking information

Parking available nearby at Thameside Nature Discovery Park

Walking trails

Straight gravel track along the reedbed


Accessible at all times but if parked in Thameside Nature Discovery Park gates shut at 4pm in winter and 5pm in summer months.


Dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Accessible at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

This fascinating reedbed habitat was created by gravel extraction in the 1920s, but now it supports an exciting number of species. During spring and summer the reedbeds come alive with the sound of birds, including cettis, reed and sedge warblers which all breed here. This is particularly important because the endangered cuckoo regularly uses these warblers as hosts for their eggs. Listen out for their famous call during the summer months. On a warm day you might also catch a glance of reptiles basking in the sun near the rough grassland.

Look closely and you might find some more elusive birds, such as the water rail which regularly breeds here but creeps silently through the reedbeds. Winter also brings many interesting birds such as bearded tits, grey wagtail and snipe, which are best seen along the Hassenbrooke, a small river that bisects the reserve and crosses under the footpath.

Just a stones throw away from our Thameside Nature Discovery Park – why not pop into the visitor centre after your visit?  

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)