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Fordham Heath


Grid ref: TL 944 263 (click for o/s map)

Updated 10/12/2020.

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This is a surviving remnant of ancient wet heathland, granted to Eight Ash Green Parish Council by Act of Parliament in 1965. It is managed by the parish council with assistance from the River Colne Countryside Project.

Until the 1940s the heath was dominated by heather and gorse and was grazed by commoners' cattle, but when grazing ceased it was invaded by trees such as oak, birch, blackthorn and aspen which dominate its wooded areas today. Large open areas still remain and are being cut regularly to encourage the regrowth of the original heathland species.

Many wild flowers including sneezewort occupy the rough grassland. The woodland in the northern section is being coppiced on a cycle of 12–15 years, which keeps the trees healthy and encourages a diversity of wildlife. Birds that breed here include whitethroat and nightingale.


Turn north off the A1124 Colchester–Halstead road in Eight Ash Green, about 800m north of its junction with the A12. The heath is about 400m further on.

Buses from Colchester to Fordham and Wakes Colne run past the heath.

Accessible at all times.

Paths may be wet and muddy at any time of the year.

© Glyn Baker