Essex Wildlife Trust logo

Shotgate Thickets


Grid ref: TQ 767 942 (click for o/s map)

Updated 10/12/2020.

Available also via books and apps – click here for details.

Mouse over links for pictures; click for detail page.

This Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve is situated on the north bank of the tidal River Crouch, which is narrow at this point. It consists of thorn thickets, rough grassland and large ponds. With the adjoining river banks and railway embankment this small area has a surprising diversity of plants, including golden dock and dyer's greenweed. Birdlife includes all three species of woodpecker, and a good selection of finches and warblers.

The ponds teem with life, including the emerald damselfly and black-tailed skimmer. Butterflies and other insects are numerous.


800m north-east of Wickford. Access is either through Southlands farm (parking at far end of the farm road) or west along the river bank from Battlesbridge, starting close to the Hawk public house.

Occasional buses along the A132 or train to Battlesbridge.

Accessible at all times.

At its best in mid-to-late spring when scrub and wood resound with birdsong.

The large pond has steep banks and deep water.

© Glyn Baker