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Sawbridgeworth Marsh

22ac/9ha  SSSI

Grid ref: TL 493 158

Updated 31/12/2023.

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This marshland nature reserve in the valley of the River Stort consists of waterlogged marsh, normally under an inch or two of water for most of the year; peaty meadow sloping up from the marsh to the eastern boundary; and a low-lying willow plantation to the south. It contains uncommon plants such as marsh willowherb, marsh valerian and southern marsh orchid.

It has several open drainage ditches and two ponds rich in aquatic life. The areas of tall fen vegetation provide nesting habitat for reed and sedge warblers. Other breeding birds include snipe and water rail. In summer the marsh is alive with insects.


West of the road from Sawbridgeworth to Little Hallingbury. No car park, but there are two small lay-bys on the opposite side of the road about 200m north of the reserve entrance. Care should be taken since the road is narrow and traffic travels at high speeds. SatNav: CM21 9HR.

About 800m north-east of Sawbridgeworth station: turn left outside the station then left into Hallingbury Road.

Accessible at all times.

Worth a visit at all times of the year but the spring and summer months are usually the most interesting.

Not suitable for wheelchair access because of wet conditions, narrow paths and plank bridges.

Wellingtons usually necessary.

© Andrew Sapsford