This 25-acre reserve was the former home of one of the most famous female gardeners, Miss Ellen Willmott. She remodelled the gardens and introduced into them a vast assortment of new plants from all over the world. Some are still found on the reserve. The garden had fallen into neglect but has been restored, not in its original form, by an enthusiastic team of Essex Wildlife Trust volunteers.
Although the house itself has long since gone, a walk round the paths reveals tantalising glimpses of what the estate once comprised. There are exotic trees, remains of cold frames, greenhouses, reservoirs, a terrace and the conservatory that was part of the original building. Although there is colour all year round, by far the best time to visit is in the spring, when snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and bluebells follow and overlap, vying with each other in splendour.