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Stanford Warren

41ac/17ha  SSSI

Grid ref: TQ 687 812 (click for o/s map)

Updated 25/08/2014

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A Thames-side reserve consisting of one of the largest reedbeds in Essex, created by gravel extraction in the 1920s, together with areas of marsh and rough grassland.

In spring and summer the reedbeds are full of birds fussing around, including reed buntings, reed warblers and sedge warblers, all of which breed. Cuckoos regularly use the warblers as hosts for their eggs. Water rail breed here too, but you will be lucky to see them because they are very shy, creeping quietly around in the reeds.

Winter brings in bearded tits, grey wagtail and snipe – best seen along the Hassenbrooke, a small river that bisects the reserve and crosses under the footpath.

Common lizard, grass snake and adder frequent the rough grassland, and harvest mice nest among the reeds


Access from London Road in Stanford-le-Hope – off the A1013, which runs alongside the A13. Turn south down Butts Lane then left into Mucking Wharf Road. Please park considerately by the former church at the start of the footpath.

About 20 minutes' walk from Stanford station. Turn right outside the station then right down Wharf Road. You meet the footpath after crossing under the railway.

Accessible at all times.

Late spring and summer for breeding birds and flowering plants; winter for visiting birds such as bearded tits.

Please keep to the marked footpaths, which provide good views over the whole area.

Photo © Gerald Downey