Grid ref: TL 883 147 (click for o/s map)
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Tiptree Heath is a small fragment of a huge heathland that used to stretch from Maldon to Messing, covering thousands of acres. It is the finest and largest area of heath in Essex, and the only place where you will find all three heather species growing together. It is privately owned, and managed by Essex Wildlife Trust with the support of the Friends of Tiptree Heath.
The heath had been heavily invaded by trees and scrub over the years, and in 2008 grazing was introduced in two fenced compartments, by cows in summer and Exmoor ponies in winter. This has established a more open, balanced heath and restored some of its original diversity of wildlife.
Ling heather, which is tall and vigorous enough to survive in gorse, covers large areas, and there are areas of bell heather and a small amount of cross-leaved heath that prefers the wetter parts. In late summer, harebells can be seen with their dainty blue bell-shaped flowers. The heath also has a number of other unusual wild plants, including allseed and chaffweed.
The heath straddles the B1022 (Colchester–Maldon) half-a-mile on the Maldon side of Tiptree.
A regular bus service between Maldon and Colchester runs along the B1022 past the heath.
Accessible at all times.
April to see acres of gorse in flower; July–September for late flowers, including the heather, and grassland butterflies.
Call the Community Warden on 07842 110051.