Wrabness Nature Reserve

Visit a reserve that is brimming with amazing bird species in every corner in every month of the year, with lovely views over the Stour Estuary


2 Wheatsheaf Close
CO11 2TD

OS Map Reference

A static map of Wrabness Nature Reserve

Know before you go

28 hectares

Parking information

There is a car park at the entrance to the reserve. Please note there is a height barrier of 2.1m.

Grazing animals

Cows grazing from May-October
Sheep grazing from August-December

Walking trails

Multiple paths around and through the reserve, including along the river edge


There is a hard surfaced path around the reserve, making it accessible for those with pushchairs or disabilities. However, for wheelchair users to access the path, please note that a Radar NKS Key is required to open a gate 


Under effective control
Under effective control


Bird hides
Picnic area

When to visit

Opening times

Accessible at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Towards the end of April, the first rare Turtle Doves can be heard ‘turring’ in the dense shrubbery while into May the Nightingale’s beautiful serenading song can be heard loud and clear. Barn Owls and the occasional Short-eared Owl are often spotted soaring overhead, searching for prey amongst the short grass.

Jacques Bay is filled with overwintering wildfowl and waders during the colder winter months, with Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstones and Knot foraging in the invertebrate thick mud. On the grassland Wigeons can be heard whistling, and Brent Geese calling. Livestock occasionally graze the grassland areas, promoting the growth of wild flowers and pollen loving insects.

Did you know? The site has been the subject of numerous planning applications (including an application for a prison in 1968 and 1989).

Environmental designation

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Local Wildlife Site (LWS)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Did you know?

The area previously served as a mine depot established by the Ministry of Defence until it closed in 1963.  It was saved from development in 1992 by the Wrabness Nature Reserve Charitable Trust and has been managed by Essex Wildlife Trust since 2006.

In the 60s and 80s it was also subject to a prison planning application!