187ac/76ha SSSI (part)
Grid ref: TQ 716 844 (click for o/s map)
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One of the few remaining Thameside grazing marshes, set on the north-west edge of Fobbing Creek, part of which was dammed in the aftermath of the 1953 floods. As well as the grazing meadows it has areas of rough grassland (the largest of which is the bed of the dammed creek), saltmarsh, seawalls and an adjoining small reedbed.
Its flowering plants are typical of Thameside marshes, including hairy buttercup, knotted hedge parsley, slender hare's-ear and sea barley, together with the normal range of saltmarsh plants and, in early summer, large colourful patches of vetches and tares. It also supports corn chervil and the nationally rare least lettuce.
In summer there are many dragonflies and damselflies along the borrow dykes. The rank grass along the seawalls is a haven for grasshoppers and bush-crickets.
Down Marsh Lane, 800m north of Fobbing Church and about a mile from the A13. Park in Fobbing High Road near the top of Marsh Lane. Please leave the entrance to Marsh Lane clear as it is used by wide farm machinery. Walk down Marsh Lane and at the bottom take the left-hand fork and follow the track until you see the reserve noticeboard – this is almost a mile from the High Road.
A bus service from Basildon and Stanford-le-Hope stops at Marsh Lane.
Accessible at all times
December and January to see raptors and waders; March, April and September for birds on passage; summer for insects and wild flowers.
Please do not walk along the top of the sea walls as this disturbs and frightens away the wildlife.