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Wallasea Island

272ac/110ha  

Grid ref: TQ 945 946 (click for o/s map)

Updated 04/11/2019


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Wallasea Island is the site of RSPB's Wild Coast Project. Previously arable farmland enclosed within a seawall, starting in 2010 spoil from the Crossrail project was imported to recreate large areas of coastal habitat such as existed here before the seawall was built. Development will continue until 2025, and the map shows the state of play in 2019.

In winter thousands of wildfowl and waders can be expected to colonise the new habitats RSPB is creating. Expect to see dunlin, grey plover, redshank, turnstone and curlew feeding on the mud or roosting on the islands; shelduck, mallard, teal and wigeon on the open water; grey heron and little egret around the fringes; stonechats and meadow pipits in the drier grassland; and flocks of lapwing and golden plover on the grazing marsh.

Such large congregations of birds attract many raptors: marsh harrier, peregrine, merlin and kestrel all year, short-eared owl and hen harrier in winter.

Bird numbers will be much fewer in spring and summer – skylarks nesting in the drier grassland; reed buntings along the borrowdykes; corn buntings, whitethroats and linnets around the bird cover.

There are lots of brown hares, and an area specially designed for water voles south of Marsh Flats.

Earlier, in 2006, a series of lagoons were created by DEFRA along the northern edge of the island as compensation for habitat lost to development elsewhere. You can get good views of these from the footpath along the seawall

Visiting

From Rochford, take the Ashingdon Road and turn right into Brays Lane. Follow the brown tourist signs from there, along Apton Hall Road and then Creeksea Ferry Road. SatNav: SS4 2HD.

Train to Burnham and ferry from there (Easter to end September). Phone 07704 060482 for details and to book.

Accessible at all times. Car park open 8am to dusk or 7.30pm.

Dogs allowed only on the seawall footpath.


Photo © Airwolfhound