Essex has wildlife to be proud of and to get excited about. For birdwatchers the highlight is the Essex coast, with its broad estuaries, creeks and bays, which attracts huge numbers of wildfowl and waders in winter. But Essex also has Epping Forest and the Lea Valley, unspoilt river valleys, wildflower meadows and heaths alive with insects in summer, and ancient woodlands full of flowers and birdsong in spring.
The thing about wildlife is that there's always more to learn, and the more you learn the more fascinating it gets. It's never too late to start.
If you're just starting to learn about wildlife, try one of these introductions:
To look up a particular species, type its name into the search box above and click Go!, or look it up in a list via the links below:
To find the commoner species, check these pages of thumbnail pictures: