90ac/36ha LNR, SSSI (part)
Grid ref: TQ 678 943 (click for o/s map)
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This large area of old meadows not far from the centre of Billericay was acquired by Basildon Council in 1991 and is now a Local Nature Reserve. The meadows lie in rolling countryside cut by streams and ditches with occasional marshy areas. Scrub and young woodland has encroached in places but grazing by cattle is keeping much of the area open.
Stoats and foxes and many birds frequent the meadows, but it is the plant life that makes them special. There is a succession of colour from bluebells and cuckoo flower in spring, then common spotted orchids and betony, through to devilsbit scabious in late summer. It also has some plants that are scarce locally among them harebell, ragged robin and sneezewort. Such a range of nectar sources also attracts a wealth of butterflies and other insects.
A group of local volunteers helps Basildon's Countryside Service team to manage the site
Stretches between Southend Road (A129) and Greens Farm Lane just south of Billericay Centre. Limited parking close by: use car parks in Billericay.
About 600m from Billericay station. A number of bus services run along the A129.
Accessible at all times.
Late spring to late summer for wild flowers and insects.