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Chigborough Lakes Nature Reserve

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Listed in Nature Reserves & Woods, Parks, Wildlife and Nature, Places to Go


This 46 acre reserve is one of a number of worked out flooded gravel pits to the north of the Blackwater Estuary. It has a wide variety of habitats, including Willow Carr, open water, small ponds, marshy areas, grazed grassland and Blackthorn/Hawthorn scrub.

This 46 acre reserve is one of a number of worked out flooded gravel pits that has now been transformed into a nature reserve, to the north of the Blackwater Estuary. Although the lakes are large they are also shallow. It has a wide variety of habitats, including Willow Carr, open water, small ponds, marshy areas, grazed grassland and Blackthorn/Hawthorn scrub.

What to look for:

There are a number of interesting flowers, including Common Spotted and Bee Orchids, Heath Speedwell, Common Storks Bill and Wild Strawberry. Trees of note include a single Wild Service tree, a veteran Oak pollard, and two recently planted Black Poplar. It has eleven varieties of willow, including Almond and Purple Willow and several recently pollarded Cricket Bat Willows.

Over 120 species of bird have been recorded and more than 40 of these have bred at some time, including Great Crested and Little Grebes, Little Egret, Grey Heron and Kingfisher. During July and August there is a good opportunity to see the Little Egret roost. The reserve has also seen recent increases in Cetti’s Warbler and Smew. Other birds of interest include Hobby, Bullfinch and Barn Owl.

Accessible at all times. Please keep dogs on leads when there is livestock on the reserve. There is an easy access path leading north from the car park to a seat overlooking Gadwall Lake.

Directions – About a mile up the B1026 from Heybridge towards Tolleshunt D’Arcy, turn north into Chigborough Road. Continue past the fishery entrance and Chigborough Farm buildings until you see the entrance gate to ChigboroughQuarry. The reserve entrance is about 50m beyond this, on the left.

Did you know?

Recently signs of Otters have been found on the reserve and it is also home to a number of Grass Snakes.

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