Leigh-on-Sea was crowned the happiest place to live in the UK 2018 for factors such as community spirit, opportunities to learn new skills and most importantly, access to green spaces. This coastal town offers many opportunities to see wildlife, so where are the best places to visit?
Belfairs Woodland Centre is a community and education centre set within an outstanding area of ancient woodland, some of which is more than 1,000 years old making it the earliest woodland recorded in Essex. The woodlands are home to a number of historic landscape features and a wide variety of flora and fauna, including several nationally-threatened species. The Dormouse, Song Thrush and Heath Fritillary butterfly are key species here, as is the unusual Wild Service tree - an important indicator of ancient woodland and used for many years to flavour beer!
This 640 acre island is a wildlife haven consisting of grassland, shrub, lagoons, saltmarsh and reedbed to support a variety of birds, in particular migrants. Birds such as Kestrel, Skylark, Fieldfare and Green Woodpecker are often seen as well as Adders, Slow Worms and Common Lizards! The site also offers a fantastic viewing platform to watch the famous Brent Geese as they arrive.
We also have some incredible reserves to visit very close by, including Pound Wood, one of the largest remaining areas of ancient woodland in South East Essex, Tile Wood and Little Haven reserve. Next time you visit Leigh-on-Sea, why not pop in to see wildlife thriving and support the vital conservation work of Essex Wildlife Trust.