286ac/116ha SSSI, SPA
Grid ref: TL 872 058 (click for o/s map)
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Northey Island lies near the head of the Blackwater Estuary east of the port of Maldon, and is managed as a nature reserve by the National Trust. It is reached via a causeway (probably Roman in origin) that is covered for several hours every high tide.
Its large areas of undisturbed saltmarsh are important for overwintering wildfowl and the pasture is managed to be the right height when the brent geese arrive in the autumn. The geese commute on and off the island to bathe in Heybridge pits and in the tidal creeks and up to 5,000 can be present from January to March.
Like Abbotts Hall Farm, the island has also been used as a testing ground for coastal realignment, by breaching parts of the seawall in order to recreate saltmarsh.
Reached from Mundon Road, Maldon, via South House Farm.
Access by permit only, available from the resident warden at a minimum of 24 hours notice either in writing to The National Trust, Northey Cottage, Northey Island, Maldon, Essex or by telephoning 01621 853142. A fee is payable for non-members of the National Trust.
Winter for large numbers of wildfowl; summer for saltmarsh flowers and insects.
No dogs allowed