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Hilly Fields


Grid ref: TL 984 253

Updated 31/12/2023.

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This public open space shares the ridge on which the town of Colchester developed, overlooking the flood plain of the River Colne. It is part of the Sheepen site that was an industrial and commercial area of Colchester in Iron Age and Roman times: most of it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Since farming stopped about 40 years ago it has developed a mosaic of varied habitats. Much of it is grassland partially invaded by scrub and woodland, but the eastern section towards the town has very sandy soils and heath-like patches have developed, with broom and gorse.

At the foot of the slope against Cymbeline Way is a marsh fed by springs and a couple of ponds. Bats feed over this area.

Buntings Meadow to the west is managed particularly for butterflies and has a butterfly trail.


Accessed via Sussex Road, that runs north off Lexden Road (A1124). Please park with consideration for residents. SatNav: CO3 3QJ.

Frequent bus services from Colchester Town Centre to Lexden and Stanway run along Lexden Road.

Accessible at all times.

Most paths are unsuitable for wheelchairs because of the steep terrain.

© Paul Farmer