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Thundersley Common

34ac/13.7ha  SSSI

Grid ref: TQ 797 896 (click for o/s map)

Updated 10/12/2020.

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Thundersley Common packs great variety and interest into a relatively small area. Like most commons it was used by local people to graze their animals, collect firewood and so on. When these practices stopped it was invaded by trees and scrub, but most of this was cleared in 1972 and some of the original heathland plants reappeared.

The northern slope has many heathland plants in the uncut islands of heather and gorse in the grassland, including milkwort, cross-leaved heath and common cow-wheat.

The woodland in the central section is dominated by oak, hornbeam and hawthorn, but there is also alder buckthorn, food plant of the brimstone butterfly, and, on the western boundary, a pollarded wild service tree.

The southern plateau has some marshy pools with lesser spearwort and on the drier ground you will find tormentil and a small patch of heather.


On Kingsley Lane, the first turning on the right off Rayleigh Road (A129) just south of the Rayleigh Weir roundabout on the A127 Southend Arterial Road.

Regular bus service serving Rayleigh station and Southend bus station via the A13; get off at Sainsbury's.

Accessible at all times.

June–August for flowers and insects

© Glyn Baker