Thameside Nature Discovery Park

Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
Thurrock Thameside Nature Park

Photo: Downwell Group


A stunning and innovative visitor centre built on a former landfill site, with superb views over Mucking Flats SSSI and the Thames Estuary (SPA). Footpaths and cycle ways in 120 acres of nature park, which will expand to 845 acres. Great birdwatching, insect watching and ship watching.


Mucking Wharf Road,
SS17 0RN
A static map of Thameside Nature Discovery Park

Know before you go

49 hectares

Parking information

Main carpark has space for approx. 80 cars. Limited parking is also available in front of the cottage (please do not block access); the Cottage Car Park will be open daily from 8.30am - 4.30pm

Bicycle parking


Grazing animals


Walking trails

The footpaths at Thameside Discovery Nature Park are accessible from Crown Green Cottage and Mucking Creek Sluice Gate. Also accessible from the main car park.

Dogs must be kept on leads from 1st April until 31st August to protect our ground nesting birds.


Gravel trails and mown paths throughout 


On a lead
Welcome on a lead in the park with the exception of the visitor centre.


Visitor centre
Bird hides
Picnic area
Accessible toilet
Baby changing facilities
Outdoor play area

When to visit

Opening times

Thameside Nature Discovery Centre is open 7 days a week from 10.00am-5.00pm.

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Thameside Nature Discovery Park is situated on the Thames Estuary and is fantastic for family days out, bird and ship watching, historical interest and getting away from the hustle and bustle.

The views across the Thames Estuary are stunning, especially from our fully accessible rooftop viewing deck which offers 360 degree views of the Nature Park and Thames.

The Nature Discovery Centre has a café with full length windows for viewing the estuary, gift shop, toilets with baby changing and a bird hide with wheelchair access which overlook the SSSI mudflats a short walk away. We have a wonderful natural play and picnic area for families to enjoy. Dogs are welcome on leads and events are held throughout the year with free parking.

The site which was once landfill and has been given back to nature is 120 acres at present and will eventually be 845 acres, it is a tremendous habitat for coastal and wetland wildlife, as well as very important grassland flora and fauna species.

The Nature Park is important for many species including barn owls, short eared owls, water voles, harvest mouse, skylark, cuckoo and shrill carder bee. However, these are not the only beneficiaries, local cattle also graze the grassland during the year.

The area is an avian hotspot and throughout the year there are overwintering and migrant bird species residing at the park and in the River Thames. There are internationally important numbers of ringed plover and avocets and nationally important numbers of grey plover, dunlin, black-tailed godwit, redshank on the adjacent mudflats as well as a treasure trove of butterflies, moths and bees on the Nature Park grasslands.

Footpaths, bridleways and cycle ways access the Nature Park and we are on the Thames Estuary path route which extends to 27 miles from Tilbury town through to Leigh on Sea.

Contact us

Essex Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01375 643342
Contact email:

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Protection Areas (SPA)

Photo: Andrew Wakefield 

How to find us

Thurrock Thameside Nature Park is in south Essex, on the Thames Estuary, in the village of Mucking about five miles east of the M25. From the A13 take  the A1013 from the west or A1014 from the east, towards the village of Stanford Le Hope. Follow the signs to the Walton Hall Farm Museum, via Buckingham Hill Road, then left into Waltons Hall Road continue past the museum on your left and take the next right into Mucking Wharf Road. Carry on past the cottages and barns onto the single-track road up to the Visitors Centre where there is a large car park.

Directions by public transport: Nearest train station is Stanford-le-Hope. Direct trains from London Fenchurch Street take 50 minutes; direct trains from Southend Central take 25 minutes. Stanford-le-Hope is served by buses from both Southend and Grays, please be prepared for approx 3 mile walk to the Nature Park.

TTNP shop


The Discovery Centre has a well-stocked shop, including binoculars and scopes, wildlife fiction and non-fiction books, bird food and feeders, gifts, greetings cards, hot and cold drinks, packaged snacks and ice creams.