Grid ref: TL 453 115 (click for o/s map)
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Harlow Council owns several sections of former flood meadow along the River Stort north of Harlow which together form the Harlow Marsh LNR.
Parndon Moat Marsh is a former moated manor house and mill dating from the 12th century and to the east beyond Harlow Town Park is Maymeads Marsh, which is damp grassland with a large pond surrounded by reeds and marshland. Southern marsh orchids and other wildflowers grow in Maymeads Marsh. Its pond, with nesting islands, attracts many wetland birds including the occasional rarity, such as jack snipe.
They are linked by the towpath footpath and crossed by other footpaths and a Green Lane.
Continuing west along the towpath you reach Parndon Mead, which is common land.
The combination of rough grassland with plenty of water makes for good insect and bird life. In summer, grassland butterflies mingle with dragonflies on the waterways, including the banded demoiselle, while moorhens and ducks look after their young families on the river and the occasional common tern flits gracefully past looking for prey.
Access via Burnt Mill Lane which turns off the A414 a short distance north of the roundabout where it meets the A1019 from Harlow town centre and the A1169. Walk through Harlow Town Park or west along the towpath. SatNav: CM20 2QS.
Harlow Town station is right next to the car park at the end of Burnt Mill Lane.
Accessible at all times.
May and June for breeding birds and meadow flowers. July and August for dragonflies and other insects.