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West Canvey Marshes


Grid ref: TQ 770 845 (click for o/s map)

Updated 25/08/2014

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Acquired by RSPB in 2006, this large area of coastal grazing marsh is managed principally for breeding waders such as lapwings and redshanks, using a mix of cattle grazing and hay cutting, plus control of water levels.

The saltmarsh alongside Benfleet Creek already has the highest density of breeding redshanks in Essex. The north and west sides of the reserve are bounded by tidal creeks where oystercatchers, knots, dunlins, godwits and sandpipers can be found. The wide fleet, with its open water and fringe of reeds, attracts good numbers of feeding little egrets. The drier grassland is good for breeding skylarks. The scrubby areas attract linnets and whitethroats.

Water voles and a large great crested newt colony occupy the freshwater ditches.


On Canvey Island just south of Benfleet. Follow Canvey Road (A130) from the A13 or Ferry Road from Benfleet station, on to Canvey Island. The reserve entrance is at the 2nd roundabout, where Canvey Road meets Roscommon Way.

Buses run from Benfleet station past the reserve entrance.

Accessible at all times.

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. There is a dogwalking trail south of the car park.

Photo © Alan Williams