Essex Wildlife Trust logo

Waterhall Meadows

6ac/2ha  

Grid ref: TL 759 072 (click for o/s map)

Updated 25/08/2014


Mouse over links for pictures; click for detail page.

Ancient unimproved flood meadows on the west bank of Sandon Brook, with a small spinney and an area of blackthorn thickets. Formerly flooded regularly, they rarely flood today.

Cowslip and meadow saxifrage flower in the meadows in spring, lady's bedstraw is conspicuous in mid-summer, and devilsbit scabious and pepper saxifrage appear later. At the far corner of the meadow is a small pond in which grow amphibious bistort, great water dock and fine-leaved water dropwort. Goldilocks buttercup flowers nearby in spring and a little further on hemp agrimony and spindle grow together by the brookside.

Among the 84 bird species recorded are eight species of warbler, at least six of which nest regularly. The kingfisher is a regular visitor and has bred in the reserve.

The reserve is rich in insect life. Its dragon-flies and damselflies are particularly notable: 17 species have been recorded including the unusual white-legged damselfly, present in large numbers

Visiting

In Little Baddow. Turn off the A414 into Hammonds Road at the roundabout signposted Boreham, and after 1 mile turn right into Hurrells Lane. Entrance is by a stile on the right before a ford through Sandon Brook. There is limited parking by the entrance and across the ford on the left.

Accessible at all times

Spring and summer for flowers; summer for dragonflies along the brook.

Please keep dogs on a lead when there is livestock on the reserve.


Photo © Tony Gunton