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The Chase

120ac/49ha  LNR

Grid ref: TQ 515 860 (click for o/s map)

Updated 25/08/2014

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This nature reserve with two large lakes occupies land shaped by gravel extraction. When extraction finished in the late 1960s some of the pits escaped infilling and formed a valuable wetland habitat of ponds, lakes and marshes. The area was turned over to horse pasture which retained its open nature until it became a nature reserve in the mid-1980s.

The Chase is of interest principally for its birds, with over 190 species recorded. Kingfishers, skylark, little ringed plover and lapwing all breed here. Teal and snipe visit in winter, and it attracts the occasional rarity such as spotted crake.

For those not especially interested in birds, it is a haven of quiet within easy reach of much of urban east London


Access from Dagenham Road which runs south from Rush Green Road (A124 Upminster–Hornchurch–Dagenham). Turn off left just before the Farmhouse Tavern.

You can walk down the River Rom from Roneo Corner or enter from the housing estates either side. Turn right when you reach the road (The Chase) and the entrance to The Chase nature reserve is a short way down on the left.

Accessible at all times.

May for breeding birds on the lakes, with gorse and hawthorn in flower; September to March for birds on passage and wintering in the reserve.

To avoid disturbing the birds, please do not go inside the fence around The Slack and keep dogs under strict control. Call the Eastbrookend rangers on 020 8595 4155.

Photo © Andrew Cox