Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
Essex Wildlife Trust has taken the difficult decision to close Thurrock Thameside Nature Discovery Centre and nature reserve to prioritise the welfare of our staff, volunteers and members of the public and sadly we have cancelled all of our events until the end of August.
Please read the Trust’s latest statement on COVID-19 here.
Thank you for your support and patience, we look forward to welcoming you back to the centre as soon as we can.
Know before you go
Parking information2 large free on site car parks
3 coloured coded walking trails.
Dogs must be kept on leads from 1st April until 31st August to protect our ground nesting birds.
Disabled access and facilities: Hearing loop, easy access path, full access to visitor centre including roof, disabled toilet and parking.
When to visit
Opening timesThe visitor centre will be closed until further notice.
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
Thurrock Thameside Nature 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 visitor 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. There are internationally important numbers of Ringed Plover and Avocets and nationally important numbers of Grey Plover, Dunlin, Godwit and Redshank as well as a treasure trove of butterflies, moths and bees.
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.
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.
We serve a selection of hot items, paninis and toasties, jacket potatoes and homemade soups. Made to order sandwiches, delicious handmade cakes; including gluten & dairy free, cream teas, toasted teacakes and seasonal homemade bakes.
Open daily, serving from 9.00am – 5.00pm (4.00pm Nov – Jan) with hot food cooked until 4.30pm (3.30pm Nov – Jan)
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.