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Little Haven


Grid ref: TQ 811 889 (click for o/s map)

Updated 25/08/2014

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This reserve was formerly part of Lower Wyburns Farm and is leased from the Little Haven Children's Hospice by Essex Wildlife Trust. It was declared a nature reserve in 1996 with the building of the hospice. It comprises 14 meadows, a network of fine old hedgerows and two woods.

Starvelarks Wood is mainly sweet chestnut and is probably a 19th century plantation that has been under coppice management.

Wyburns Wood contains a complex range of tree and plant species, indicating its ancient origins. It is very damp in places and here it supports a rare type of woodland known as plateau alder wood, which has a ground flora of male fern and pendulous sedge.

The commoner brown butterflies can be found in the meadows and the woods support a colony of heath fritillaries


Turn south off the A127 at Rayleigh Weir on to Rayleigh Road (A129) and turn left on to Daws Heath Road at the Woodmans Arms mini-roundabout. Or join the A129 from the A13 and turn right on to Daws Heath Road. Park on local streets with consideration for residents.

Hourly bus service exc. Sundays serves Daws Heath Road. More frequent services run along Rayleigh Road and pass Woodmans Arms PH (400m to west via Daws Heath Road).

Accessible at all times

April to June for spring flowers and woodland birdsong.

Wheelchair access gate opposite Ann's Mini-Market

Please keep dogs on leads when livestock is present.

To minimise disturbance to wildlife, please keep to the designated paths. Leaflets available from a dispenser at the reserve, on the board at Ann's Mini-Market or from Abbotts Hall.

Photo © Tony Gunton