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Great Holland Pits


Grid ref: TM 204 190

Updated 31/12/2023.

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Gravel was worked here until about 1964 but the scars have virtually disappeared beneath vigorous growth. Habitats include heathy grassland, pasture, a remnant of old woodland, large and small pools, and wet depressions. From the high ground there are attractive views of Holland Brook meandering through water meadows.

It has a wide variety of flowering plants, including some that are unusual in Essex, such as moschatel, yellow archangel, small-flowered buttercup, mousetail, carline thistle and soft shield and hartstongue ferns.

Nightingales visit in summer and woodcock frequently use the reserve in winter. Resident aquatic species include kingfisher, coot and little grebe.

As you would expect of such a varied site, it supports many butterflies, moths and other invertebrates.


The reserve entrance is 800m west of the Lion's Den pub at Great Holland, north of the Little Clacton Road. SatNav: CO13 0EU.

Buses stop at the Lion's Den on the route from Clacton to Walton.

Accessible at all times, but car park only daylight hours.

Spring and summer for flowers, birds and insects.

© Glyn Baker