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Gernon Bushes

77ac/31ha  SSSI

Grid ref: TL 478 030

Updated 31/12/2023.

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This is the last remnant of the old Coopersale Common that once linked the Lower Forest to Ongar Park. It has many ancient hornbeam pollards plus some more recent woodland and a network of ponds originally dug for gravel extraction. It descends steeply from the plateau of the ridge across gravelly deposits to London clay lower down.

The gravel workings in the north have developed into sphagnum bogs. In the south two springs rise on the edge of the plateau and their streams descend steep-sided valleys through a series of bogs with large patches of the rare marsh fern. Other notable plants include lady fern, bog bean, marsh valerian, marsh marigold and ragged robin.


Turn off the B181 towards Coopersale village and turn left on to Garnon Mead 200 yards after passing under the railway bridge. SatNav: CM16 7RN.

A bus service runs to Coopersale from Harlow via Epping.

Accessible at all times

Spring for songbirds; summer for marsh and bog plants.

© Tony Gunton