Thurrock Thameside Nature Park
Grid ref: TQ 693 805 (click for o/s map)
Mouse over links for pictures; click for detail page.
Thurrock Thameside Nature Park is being created on a large landfill site at Mucking. The visitor centre and first section of the nature park opened in 2012. From the visitor centre and hide there are great views across Mucking Flats and the Thames, and of the large numbers of birds that occupy them in winter. Further sections will open over the coming years as restoration continues.
The first section consists mainly of rough grassland and already supports good numbers of skylarks, harvest mice and other small mammals. Its wild flowers attract pollinating insects such as bumblebees, and more work is planned to improve it in this respect. It will be grazed by Exmoor ponies.
The visitor centre has an observation room and shop, with impressive views both from inside and from the roof across Mucking Flats and the Thames, where internationally important numbers of ringed plover and avocet, and nationally important numbers of grey plover, dunlin, godwit and redshank feed in winter, along with many other species. it also provides top-class education and training facilities.
A network of footpaths has been laid out across the site, and an all-ability path leads down to a birdhide overlooking the estuary.
The value of the site to wildlife and its interest to visitors will grow over the years as habitats improve under conservation management, and as more parts of the landfill site are restored and added to the park, eventually connecting it all the way through to East Tilbury Quarries to the south
Accessed from Mucking Wharf Road, south of Stanford-le-Hope. Enter Stanford-le-Hope from the west via the A1013 and turn right on to Butts Lane. Mucking Wharf Road turns off left c. 400m down. Follow the road across the railway then straight on to the reserve entrance
15–20 minutes walk from Stanford-le-Hope station (Fenchurch St line). Turn right outside the station then right again into Wharf Road. After passing under the railway turn right on to the footpath across Stanford Warren nature reserve, which emerges on to Mucking Wharf Road. Turn left and follow the road to the reserve entrance.
9 am to 5 pm every day except Christmas Day.
Autumn and winter for migrating and over-wintering birds; spring and summer for wild flowers and songbirds.
An all-ability path leads to a bird hide overlooking the estuary
Dogs allowed only on leads