Stour Estuary

This section of the estuary of the River Stour to the west of Harwich has saltmarsh and intertidal mudflats adjoining ancient woodland and is the only place in Essex where you can see the one close alongside the other. The saltmarsh and mudflats of Copperas Bay are nationally important for wading birds such as black-tailed godwit, dunlin and redshank and, together with Stour Wood, form the RSPB's Stour Estuary reserve. Essex Wildlife Trust owns another ancient woodland alongside the bay, Copperas Wood, and to the west lies Wrabness nature reserve and Oakfield Wood, a 'green burial ground'.

Copperas Bay
Copperas Wood
Oakfield Wood
Stour Wood
Wrabness NR


North of the B1352 from Ramsey to Manningtree, between the villages of Wrabness and Ramsey. Turn off the A120 Colchester-Harwich road on to the B1352. The main entrance to Stour Wood, with car park, is signposted from the road; Copperas Wood is 300 yards down a public footpath (the route of the Essex Way) beside a large white flat-roofed house, with parking for one or two cars on the verge. Copperas Bay and its bird hides can be reached via either.

Stour Wood is about 800m walk from Wrabness rail station via a public footpath. A bus service from Colchester to Harwich via Wrabness runs along the B1352 past the entrances to Stour and Copperas Woods.

May and June, when wild flowers are everywhere and migrant birds such as the nightingale are in full voice; autumn and winter for the hardy and the birdwatcher, for good views of the birds in Copperas Bay.