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Belton Hills

49ac/20ha  LNR

Grid ref: TQ 825 860 (click for o/s map)

Updated 25/08/2014


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A steep hillside overlooking the Thames estuary at Leigh-on-Sea that has covered over with scrub and small trees. Paths are cut through the scrub and these are lined with wild flowers and frequented by butterflies, including the marbled white – one of the few places in Essex where it can still be seen.

Some characteristic coastal plants that are rare in Essex grow here, including deptford pink (flowering June–August) and bithynian vetch (flowering May–June). In summer birds sing from almost every thicket – whitethroats, blackcaps and other migrants as well as residents such as yellowhammers and linnets.

Visiting

South of Marine Parade, Leigh-on-Sea. Turn off the A13 on to Tattersall Gardens or Thames Drive, which lead down to Marine Parade.

Leigh station is ten minutes' walk via Belton Way.

Accessible at all times.

May/June for birdsong; summer for butterflies (mid-June to mid-July for the marbled white).

Call the rangers on 01702 551072.


Photo © Chris Gibson/English Nature