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Copperas Wood

34.3ac/14ha  SSSI

Grid ref: TM 199 312 (click for o/s map)

Updated 25/08/2014

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An ancient wood close to the River Stour and the RSPB reserve Stour Wood and Copperas Bay, bought by Essex Wildlife Trust in 1980. It consists mainly of coppiced sweet chestnut and hornbeam. It was severely damaged in the great storm of 1987 and sections of the wood have been left in their devastated state for wildlife value and for scientific study.

After the Trust bought the wood, coppicing was reintroduced, and this has produced carpets of bluebell, yellow archangel and red campion. Among other flowering plants are moschatel, white climbing fumitory, and a few sweet woodruff and vervain. The wood is rich in ferns, and notably soft shield-fern.

Many species of bird have been seen, including all three species of woodpecker and the nightingale.

Butterflies include purple hairstreaks, that can be seen in the canopies of the large oaks


The reserve is one mile from the village of Ramsey on the B1352 from Ramsey to Manningtree. The entrance is 300m down a public footpath (the Essex Way) beside a large white flat-roofed house. Parking for two cars only at the entrance, or on the roadside.

Regular buses between Harwich and Colchester go past the reserve

Accessible at all times

May and June, when wild flowers are everywhere and migrant birds such as the nightingale are in full voice.

A footpath about 2 km in length runs round the perimeter of the main wood. Please keep this path, from which all the main features of the reserve can be seen.

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