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John Weston

9ac/4ha  SSSI

Grid ref: TM 266 245 (click for o/s map)

Updated 25/08/2014

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This Essex Wildlife Trust reserve lies within the Naze public open space. It consists of blackthorn and bramble thickets, rough grassland and four ponds or 'scrapes', three of them excavated since the reserve was established.

It is named after the late John Weston, a leading Essex naturalist who was warden of the reserve until his death in 1984.

Its nesting birds include common and lesser whitethroat, joined recently by Cetti's warbler. Water rail are seen and heard regularly. It is an important landfall for migrants, including many rarities, and also attracts a variety of winter visitors.

Notable among its flowering plants and grasses are parsley water-dropwort, slender thistle, pepper saxifrage, fenugreek and bush grass.

A circular path runs around the eastern section and is good for butterflies and other insects in summer.

Beyond the reserve is the 2km long shingle beach, ending at Stone Point, which is an important nesting site for little tern and other shorebirds.


The John Weston reserve forms the north-western part of the public open space and can be reached via a nature trail established by the Trust which runs through it.

Several bus services run to The Naze via Walton station.

This site acts as a sanctuary although organised and casual visits are possible.

Please keep dogs under close control.

Photo © Iris Newbery